James 1:5 NASB”
“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”
Have you asked God for wisdom? I have, almost daily. And believe it or not, some of the cobwebs that have been situated on this mind and heart of mine are actually starting to dissipate and trust me, that is a good thing.
How many of you have seemingly banged your head against a wall, time and time again, only to realize that the pain that this causes, only stops, when you stop banging your head against the wall?
I think that one of the hardest things to learn is the area of influence that we actually have, as ambassadors for Jesus. Right off the bat, Jesus tells us that without Him, we can actually do nothing (John 15:5). We say that we understand that but how deep does that reality actually go? It goes deep, really deep, because Jesus was not kidding.
Anyone who knows me knows that I can be obstinate. Actually the word “obstinate” is a kind way of saying that I have a tendency to have tunnel vision. That means the way that I see things is the way that I perceive that everyone else should also see things. And one doesn’t have to be a brain surgeon to know that the repercussions of that mentality is not generally a good thing. It’s been a hard lesson to learn and the sad part is I am still learning. God’s grace is a wonderful thing.
I’d like to think that I have mellowed over the years but in my quest to gain wisdom, God has been showing me areas that I needlessly plow into, where I ought not. And I am also learning that there is a distinct different between stating your case, when asked to, and interjecting my opinion, when not asked to. Generally speaking, the one who asks you to state your case, has a tendency to listen to your case, when it is presented and the one who does not ask you for your opinion, which when presented, is generally ignored. One could easily say, “Go figure”.
All of the various controversies that abound about Covid 19 are a case in point. I have for the most part, stayed away from the different areas of contention. I have offered some recommendations on how to fact check information in a couple of posts. Key words in the initial statement are “for the most part”. There have been a couple of occasions where I have submitted my “opinion” into someone else’s opinion that they are stating. I probably don’t have to tell you how that turned out. Thankfully it did not evolve into a conversation that resulted in disparaging words being exchanged. We agreed to disagree and parted on friendly terms. Again, God’s grace is a wonderful thing.
God has been exceedingly patient with me over the years. Matter of fact, He still deals with me with great patience, which is a credit to His benevolence and not mine. Anyone who figures that they have God all figured out is crazy. I can’t think of any other way to state that. And it would seem logical, that if God deals with us with great patience, then it would behoove us to likewise deal with others in the same manner. I am mindful of the difference in tone and the actual conversation that took place between Jesus and the accusing Pharisees in general and with Nicodemus in particular. Totally different tone and different conversation, because there was a different intent. The Pharisees were seeking to accuse Jesus, whereas Nicodemus was inquiring. I am also mindful of when the disciples brought it to the attention of Jesus, that someone was casting out demons in Jesus’ name and Jesus told them not to stop him (Luke 9:49-50). Yet this individual was obviously not from the close group of disciples.
All of us believers in Jesus are on a journey but we are not all at the same spot or place in our journey. Jesus takes that into consideration in His dealings with us but we often do not. The reason I say “we” is that I am thinking that I am not alone in my error. My “approach” to writing about things pertaining to God may be different from that of another. Just because their “approach” is different from mine, and mine from their’s, does not mean that either one of us is necessarily incorrect in our “approach”. No two of us are exactly alike and God takes that into consideration, and if we are truly for Jesus, then we are not against Him.
Please note that I am not saying or advocating that we should not identify sin, when we see a brother or sister sinning, but not all sin is the same as it pertains to perceived danger (committing adultery and gossiping about others, being a case in point) and ultimately, as the Scriptures state “whatever is not from faith, is sin”, so even our lack of faith in what God can and will do, to protect His own, is sin. Biblical discernment can be a two edged sword.
Sometimes I react out of fear, especially when I see an area that can cause harm in a close loved one and I speak out. It is hard to fight against that. But the long and the short of it is that we all make mistakes in judgement and discernment and we can and should offer our recommendations, if asked, or at a minimum, if offered and accepted, but we do also have to trust that God is thoroughly capable of protecting and guiding His own also. That’s another hard one to learn.
I am going to close with Romans 14 and leave it for your consideration. Please take the time to read it.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!