I’ve heard it said that:
- If two people always think the same way about everything, it means that at least one of them isn’t thinking.
- When you find yourself wanting your children, pupils, neighbors, or other people to think and behave like yourself — remember that God never meant for them to be that.
- If you can look back a year and can’t recognize any ideas or opinions that you’ve abandoned as wrong, it isn’t likely because you were right then — or now. Living things grow. Don’t be dead.
- If you can look back a day and can’t recognize any ideas or opinions that you’ve abandoned as wrong, remind yourself that complacency and ignorance are headed a different direction than repentance.
Those who follow The Way are not called to follow other men blindly like sheep. We are called to be Good Bereans. We are called to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Do not just accept the traditions and teachings of whoever raised you or preaches from your chosen pulpit. Your calling, dear Christian, begs more of you than this. Do not accept “the way that it is” as the way that it should be, but only settle for The Way, no matter how strong the tension it creates. Because The Way of Christ is worth your constant contemplation upon His Will and His Word, which are in perfect harmony.
And a trick of the enemy to get us most quickly out of step in The Way is to have us looking at others instead of looking clearly and firmly to Christ alone. When we compare our opinions of “them” or “they” to God’s perfect plan for these brothers and sisters made in His image — when we grumble (either to ourselves or to others) about “them” or “they” or “he” or “she” — it is agreement with that enemy, the great accuser, that is of greatest probable cause. And if one’s thoughts and words and actions flow from that polluted source, what a great need there is indeed for repentance and return to our first love, Christian!
Friends, we are called to die daily. We are called to take this sword of the Word of God and look upon ourselves clearly and honestly to see quite how different our perfect God is from ourselves. As we draw closer to the Lord, we do not look at ourselves and think, “Oh how worthy I am to be in the presence of God compared to those wretched sinners out there!” NO! GOD FORBID YOU HYPOCRITE! He resists the proud, and only a broken heart and a contrite spirit will our God not despise. The closer you come to God, the lower your penitent head will bow, even as the higher your forgiveness and love towards others is lifted!
Let us not be a stench in the nostrils of God with our stinking thinking, but let us be renewed by the power of the Holy Spirit so that we are granted repentance and wisdom to walk in The Way.
Lord, help us in these things, that we may grow and walk more steadfast in The Way, closer to you each day, more and more aware of your presence in us and through us as your Kingdom comes, and your Will is done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. Amen.
This has been the word of the day in our house. And unfortunately, my wife has been at the receiving end of most of the “poop” today. As I walked through the master bedroom this morning, I encountered one of our dogs, Olive, who had just left us a couple of brown treats in the master bathroom. As she walked past me, knowing that she was about to “get caught” for this transgression, she squatted and began scraping her behind along the carpet — leaving a long, thick, dark stripe in the bedroom before I could grab her up and prevent it. As I walked into the bathroom, I found the “nuggets” (as Mia and I call them for humorous effect), picked them up with some toilet paper and flushed them. I continued on to my own destination to participate in a much cleaner activity of bodily function than Olive had demonstrated, but I told her that it would be okay and that I wasn’t mad at her. But I had to quickly let the dogs out and get back to work, hoping that my wife would have time to clean up the new racing stripe addition to our bedroom carpet when she came back through the house. I had to hurry back to work in my office, because things were busy, busy, busy.
While all of this was happening, I had assumed that Mandee was somewhere nearby and would be leaving shortly for work herself. However, she was also already dealing with a cleanup situation. I won’t go into details, but sometimes elderly grandparents that are receiving caregiving in your home — well, they need cleanup. So she came upstairs from the downstairs apartment already running late because of a poopy situation, and I got to share with her what was going on up here. Cleaning up poop is not fun. I don’t like it. Mandee doesn’t like it. You probably don’t like it either.
Sometimes other people “poop on us” metaphorically speaking, with how they act towards us, how they judge us, how they treat us or exclude us. But just like I didn’t grab something and swat Olive, and just like Mandee didn’t gripe at or embarass Nana, and just like Mandee didn’t get mad at me because I couldn’t clean all of it up because of my meetings and work obligations — we don’t need to use “them pooping on us” as an excuse for us to return the favor.
And the famous comment about opinions being a lot like the exterior tip of our colons “that everyone has one and they all stink” is pretty accurate on this topic as well. It’s because none of us are perfect. We are all broken and imperfect. And even with some of us who are going through this process of sanctification by the power of the Holy Spirit, we’re still imperfect throughout that process on this side of eternity. So judging and comparing others is just as useless as blindly following others or as not seeking to grow and change ourselves each day. It’s maddening how easily we can aim the EXPECTATIONS of growth and improvement and change towards others while rarely using it in a healthy way ourselves to be humbled, repentant, and constantly growing.