Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Timely Word...

"Also do not take to heart everything you hear people say..." Ecclesiastes 7:21

This word was timely in that earlier this week, I discovered that someone was harshly criticizing me without my knowledge. I understand that these things are going to happen and I should expect them to happen. I simply wonder what it is that possesses Christian men and women, or at least men and women who claim to be Christians, to talk about another brother or sister behind their backs and share intimate concerns about relationships without the accused's knowledge.

This bugs me on several levels; it goes against the grain of Christian love. If you truly love someone as Christ teaches that you ought to love, then it stands to reason that you would care enough that IF you have a concern about someone you will share it with that person and not trumpet your concerns to everyone BUT that person.

It also goes against the grain of Christian character. We should be bold enough with our brethren that if we have a trouble, then we should have the resolve to share it with them. Christians are not cowards--we have the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit that leads, guides, and directs our intentions, and He can make known when an accusation is brought in Christlike love and compassion.

It also goes against the grain of Christian friendship and brotherhood. As Christians we are bound together by a strong cord of mutual faith in Jesus that should lead us to respect one another despite differences, regardless of how strong they may be.

As I was reading this morning, this verse struck me as a word from the Lord. I know I should give the accuser the benefit of the doubt. I did receive the accusation from a third party, a party that I do not know that I can altogether trust. However, when such accusations come, and because of my persona, I generally have a very hard time dealing with them, and I tend to take things to heart (hence the significance of the above verse). I let them affect my mood, my work, my walk, and ultimately my family.

Lord, give me the grace to overcome these pressures, and to extend grace to those who are unfair toward me.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cast Your Burden, or not?

"Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you..." Psalm 55:22

It makes for really good preaching and sounds good when it is yelled from the pulpit, but I simply cannot believe that "God will not put more on you than you can bear." Practical experience and empirical evidence mitigate otherwise; God does put more on you than you can bear, and He is quite pleased to do so.

There are times in life when God places such a burden upon you so as to do a thing in your life; it is up to you to determine what that thing is and then accept it and live in it. That burden then becomes such a thing that God intends not to lift it from you so as to teach you that thing and further, to drive you to Him--to fall out of fellowship with Him because of the burden is a failure of an egregious sort and will only make the burden that much heavier to bear.

So to roll the responsibility upon God and allow Him to shoulder the heaviest portion of the burden is not only biblical but sound--it makes sense. The burdens we bear were never meant to be borne alone, yet what a celebration ensues when we do bear it alone! "I did this! I accomplished this thing!" But was any real lesson learned in faith? None whatsoever.

Can one be crushed under a heavy load? Quite possibly; but not if one end of the load has been deliberately given over to Him to shoulder.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Reopening the Blog

I have been away from blogging for too long, and with the advent of a new year, I will reopen the blog. There has been a lot on my mind lately and hopefully the blog will once again serve its purpose as I originally intended. I want to explore some new things the Lord has opened up for my family, particularly where stewardship, prayer, nutrition, spina bifida, and other things are concerned. Hope you'll join me. And oh yes, lousy church signs will be thrown in the mix, too. :-)