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Friday, July 5, 2013

And the hunt is on!

William Maxwell once said, "If you turn the imagination loose like a hunting dog, it will often return with the bird in its mouth."  I wonder what would happen if we turned our spirit loose like a "hunting dog"?  Would we return with blessings like power, peace, and purpose?  Well, I think this might just be the case!  We often bridle our spirits, keeping them from expanding into territory we think only the "worthy" can trod.  Guess what?  You ARE the worthy!  You may not be convinced of that yet, but trust me, scripture declares those who have put their trust in Christ as their Savior, confessing their sins, and taking his grace freely as "worthy"!

Whoever goes hunting for what is right and kind 
finds life itself—glorious life! (Proverbs 21:21 MSG)

To hunt is to go searching for with the desire to catch.  There is the idea of searching and seeking - not for the "sport" of it - but because there is something to be obtained.  There are times when we treat the pursuit of the things God has for us as though they were "sport" - just a pleasant pastime.  The hunt is on, friend - will you be part of it?

Our passage today proclaims two thing we are to "hunt" for so as to obtain - what is right and what is kind.  Now, both of these can easily deal with relationship - what is right and kind to do for another, to another, with another.  They can also deal with how we conduct our business affairs - what is right practice or kindness in service.  They also can deal with how it is we treat ourselves - what is right for us to do with our bodies, minds, and spirits.

What is right?  There are probably as many definitions of what is "right" as there are people in this world.  We form our ideals as we age - exposing ourselves to various teachings, experiences, etc.  In time, we come to define certain practices as "right".  The problem with using this kind of a definition comes in the "flexibility" of the circumstances which may "influence" what we believe to be right.  The only true source of defining what is "right" - in relationship, business, or our own personal life - is in the scripture.  It is within those pages we find what is "good", "proper", and "just".  God's character doesn't allow for the inconsistencies of circumstance defining these for him - his definition will always be "spot on".

What is kind?  We usually equate kindness to compassion, consideration, or courtesy.  Kindness is a way of life - not easily influenced by the circumstances life sends our way.  Believe it or not, kindness is the outcome of pursuing what is right.  You cannot operate in a realm of kindness without first setting your heart to do what is right.  

The very next verse in this proverb refers to the "sage" - One sage entered a whole city of armed soldiers—their trusted defenses fell to pieces!  (vs. 22)   What is a sage?  Is it not someone who possess wisdom, judgment and experience?  It is a prudent person.  The "starting point" for all wisdom is found in pursuing what is right.  The "end point" of wisdom is doing what is kind.  One is the action of the will, the other is the outflow of the heart.

No amount of "armor" can present a defense against one "armed" with the pursuit of what is right and kind.  In fact, it is "undone" in the face of righteousness and kindness.  The toughest defenses can be laid low when we begin to yield our spirits to God and take up the "hunt" for what he declares to be good, right, and just for our lives.  Just sayin!