Uncategorized

How Much Do You Weigh?

Image

I’m not terribly fond of scales these days, especially since I’ve gained weight.  However, if I am going to get on a scale, I want my correct weight.  If the scale weighs me less than what I really weigh, I am shocked and disappointed when I discover my true weight.  On the other hand, when the scale weighs me heavier, it’s just plain depressing.  It can be challenging when you don’t really know what you weigh when you want to find out.  Knowing my true weight is helpful because it lets me know where I am in relationship to where I want to be.  Just like we need to weigh ourselves occasionally for our health, we need to spiritually weigh in, especially when we find ourselves in the heat of a battle.

It’s the day after the election, and there’s a chill in the air.  The battle of the candidates is over, but the angry words, taunting, and gloating by some is disheartening.  A quick scroll through Facebook, Twitter and the television news programs lets us know how passionately people feel about the candidate they supported.  Several weeks ago, I remember being startled in line at the post office as a lady loudly proclaimed her candidate’s position, admonishing us to vote for him.  Whether you voted or President Obama or Governor Romney, the overwhelming consensus seems to be that we are divided as a nation.

If only we could be, as the Pledge of Allegiance states, “one Nation under God, indivisible.”  Is it possible for us, with so many differing opinions, positions, and beliefs, to be indivisible?  I’m convinced that, as believers, we can be indivisible, but only if we refuse to allow what we feel is right and wrong be our guide.  Just like stepping on an inaccurate scale, when we make judgments based on our feelings, we get the wrong results.  Instead, we must cling to the truth of His Word, the honest and true scale.

Years ago, I remember the pastor hanging a plumb line up from the ceiling of the church in the sanctuary.  The plumb line was suspended to remind us that just as a plumb line hangs to determine if something is perfectly vertical and upright, God’s Word should be our plumb line (Amos.).  We can’t judge if we are “balanced,” fair, and accurate with our own actions, thoughts and speech, and we certainly can’t judge others accurately unless we are anchored in His Word.  Proverbs 16:11 explains, “Honest scales and balances belong to the Lord; all the weights in the bag are of his making.”  In other words, He is the One to judge if things are fair and balanced; we can’t do this ourselves.

This same Proverb says, “All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord.  Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans” (16:2-3).  If we humble ourselves to His Word and His Will, our motives will be pure before Him.  However, if we refuse to obey His Word, we will think that we are in right standing with God and people, deceiving ourselves.  Ultimately, we end up being divisive and in error when we’re wrong and think we’re right.  Our pride overtakes us, and destruction is always imminent.

As believers, we seek to please God.  When we seek to please Him, we won’t please some—probably, we won’t please many.  Yet, His Word assures us that, “When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them” (16:7).  We have to stay the course, and let the Word be our plumb line because our feelings, thoughts and ideas can deceive us.

Do you desire your enemies to make peace?  I know that I do and having instructions about how to achieve this is here for us.  God and His Word are our plumb line, and we need to make sure that we are weighed and balanced by the only true scale.

Weighing in,

MaRita

Advertisements
Uncategorized

Not Guilty!

Have you ever been terribly misjudged or falsely accused? Well, if not, you probably haven’t been living long. It has happened to most of us, and it has most certainly happened to someone we love. In the heat of false accusers and misunderstanding, most of us initially feel intense pain, anger, hurt, and/or defensive. What separates us, however, is how we choose to act as a result of being misjudged or unjustly charged as guilty.

Generally speaking, two choices of the many options that we have are to defend ourselves or to let God be our defense. In times of peace, believers are quick to agree that we should always let God be our defense. Yet, when persecution comes, a natural response is for our flesh to rise up and want to defend and protect ourselves, our family, friends, and “turf.” Remember in John 18, when the Roman soldiers came to arrest Jesus, and Peter drew his sword, cutting the servant’s ear off? Peter did what many of us, or certainly what I might have done in this situation. He knew who Jesus was and that He was undeserving of persecution. Still, Jesus told Peter to put his sword away, telling him, “the cup that the Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?” (John 18:11). Jesus was peaceful because He knew what His Father had sent Him to do.

If you’re like me, you’re saying, “Well, I’m not Jesus.” While none of us is Him, we are His ambassadors or representatives of Him. As my church says, “Our lives should be the mirror that reflects the image of Christ.” Because of this, we have a responsibility to cling to the Word and base our responses to conflict and persecution on His Word alone. Any response that is not in alignment with the Word is in error, whether it makes sense or not.

Lately, I’ve been faced with situations that I felt called for immediate action. Like Peter, I was anxious to set things straight quickly. However, this week, the Lord has revealed in His Word that He will fight the battle for me. My assignment calls me to rest in Him, His Word, and His wisdom.

He led me to Proverbs, which is full of wisdom for life’s difficult situations. Solomon instructs his son, “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of man and God” (Proverbs 3:4-4).
The Word says so much about love, but one point that it makes so clearly is that love covers a multitude of sins. God’s love sent His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins, and His love should rule our hearts. If this is so, we have a charge to forgive, as Jesus has forgiven us. In this verse, love is coupled with faithfulness. We must be full of faith in Him, trusting that he will see us through, even and especially during persecution. Solomon recognizes that there are times when you have to hold on to love and faithfulness. He admonishes us to bind then on our necks, which implies that we shouldn’t turn in any direction, without the two. He also instructs on to write them on our hearts. In other words, love and faithfulness should dwell on the inside of us, ruling our thoughts, speech, and actions.

When we are filled with His love and faithfulness to Him and His Word, the verse says that we “will win favor and a good name in the sight of man and God.” It’s a comfort to know that we not only find favor with man, but also with God. He is the only who will set the record straight, and He will right every wrong.

I’m so thankful for His Word, that has the power to show us ourselves and iron out every wrinkle and crooked place. No matter what the situation is, if you’re being persecuted, misjudged, and misunderstood, He knows and He cares. He has instructions for us to follow in times of duress, and I’m at peace, knowing exactly what to do.

Leaning on and Learning of Him with You,
MaRita