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Tuesday, September 25, 2018
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” Eph. 4:31-32 Sometimes sins can be like blind spots. Once a man told me that he didn’t have any blind spots. I responded, “So how would you know, if you’re blind to them?” He had no response. We both laughed. Sin can be that way. It can be so disguised and camouflaged and covert that we don’t notice it’s there. Perhaps the most covert and hidden sin is envy. Paul challenges us at the end of Ephesians Chapter 4 to “Put all the bad stuff away.” Of course, we can’t clean up a room we think is spotless. We first have to recognize the mess. Then we can give it over to the great Cleaner Upper, Jesus Christ. A competitive, challenging spirit always produces a mess wherever it lives. It compares and judges and never rests. We’re either better or worse than every one around us. And, worst of all, it robs us of that powerful attribute of the free in Christ- JOY. The line is so thin and tight. It’s okay to compete. Sports are a blast, but like the Christian competition pioneer, Wes Neal, taught us, we compete to be our best for Christ, not to beat our opponent. Wes taught us to “totally release” all we have to the glory of Christ. The “score” of the game isn’t measured by the points on the scoreboard but by the degree to which we use our talent to His glory. Many times, I’ve lost on the scoreboard but won in my heart. I was a little sad but knew God was pleased. Of course, I’ve also won on the scoreboard, but lost in my heart. It’s an empty victory. We tend to compare, fall behind, and become jealous and envious. Paul tells us to get rid of a thing called malice. Malice means “To wish ill on someone else.” Yuck! It means we’re actually happy when someone else messes up. It makes us look better (we think)! And the worst form of malice is that we can even contribute to them messing up! At the least, we can’t cheer for them because they are ahead. At the most, we help them fail. Double yuck. What we forget is that God equally divides His grace to us all. More or less is a worldly perspective. In God’s grace world, He provides for us all. He distributes exactly as He desires. It’s about Him, not us. It’s about us trusting Him as our life distributor. He knows what we need and what we don’t need. It’s about us trusting Him as He opens doors and closes doors. Our prayer is for the Holy Spirit to expose our blind spots, for our brothers and sisters around us to lovingly call us out and for our spirits to yield to truth in our lives. May we all trust Him completely and live in the joy that trust produces. By Eric Joseph Staples © www.lifeaid101.com
Posted by Joseph Staples at 9:30 AM No comments:
Labels: accountability, burden-bearing, discipleship, friendship
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