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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Warning: I've been known to affect your "balance"!

Have you ever noticed how being in some crowds and doing what is right makes everyone in the crowd a little "off balance"?  It isn't that they cannot appreciate doing what is right, they just don't have the same enjoyment of doing what "isn't" right when someone is around who is consistent in doing what is right!  Equally so, doing what is wrong keeps everyone off balance, but lends an element of insecurity to the mix.  Why?  This thing we might term as "self-doubt" begins to enter into the mix when we see everyone doing one thing and we are doing something so totally different.  We begin to question the "validity" or "importance" of what we are doing - even when we know it to be the right thing to do! It is all because a little self-doubt enters into the mix - planted there by the actions of those around us who are pretty excited about doing something totally different than what we know to be right.  It is often the moment of truth which defines who we are at the core of our being - will we give into the self-doubt, or keep on "keeping on" in spite of it?

The Eternal prefers those who do good, but He condemns those who plot evil.  Doing what is wrong keeps everyone off balance and insecure, but those who do right will never be uprooted.  (Proverbs 12:2-3 VOICE)

Mother Teresa is quoted as saying:  "If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.  If you are honest, people may cheat you.  Be honest anyway.  If you find happiness, people may be jealous.  Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.  Do good anyway.  Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.  Give your best anyway.  For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway."  She hits the nail squarely on the head, doesn't she?  It isn't about if we are right and they are wrong; or if we are wrong and they just might be right.  It is about how our Lord views each of our actions in the light of his purpose for our lives.  He is the one who defines our actions - not the good or bad of another's actions which we often use as a measuring stick by which we will "judge" our own.

Self-doubt is a powerful weapon.  It can be used to keep us all muddled up in confusion so we never take any action.  It can be used to stop us in our tracks, so we don't go any further. It has both a bad and good side, doesn't it?  When it is based on what our conscience knows to be true and we are clearly moving toward what our conscience senses to be wrong, it acts as a little bit of a "braking system" to help us from heading into the wrong action.  When it is based on what we might hear from others, in spite of what we know to be true, and that information paints a little picture of doubt with which we begin to question truth, it can become the thing which plays with our sense of right and wrong enough that we walk squarely into compromise.  Unfortunately, the benefits of self-doubt are often overshadowed by the dangers of self-doubt.

Remember how Christ came into a world where there was a mixture of people "ready" to receive him, watching and waiting for the appointed day of his coming?  There were also those who knew very little of his coming, simply because they had never heard of it in their homes, nor learned of it in their schools.  It isn't much different now, is it?  In the scheme of things, the "coming of Christ" into the lives of individuals is a thing not spoken of too much in our schools, and definitely not "studied" with intensity by many.  Some will see those who do good in the midst of all the evil of the day and will be drawn to the evidence of good they see within that individual. In turn, they begin to hear of the "coming of Christ" in that individual's life, and they are drawn into the place of desiring that experience themselves.  Some will see those who do good even in the midst of tremendous evil, and they will pull away, criticize, and look down upon that individual, simply because they are confounded by the goodness which lives deep inside that individual.

What makes the difference in these circumstances?  Many might think it is that the "good" wasn't good enough, or the evil was just too evil.  The truth of the matter is that hearts must be prepared to see the good in such a way that a spark of desire is created.  Sometimes evil just needs to be encountered by good so frequently that there begins to be a little "self-doubt" created by the frequency of the good they are seeing!  Rather than shying away from being the "good" in the midst of repeated evil, maybe we need to become the one who "sets off-balance" those who pursue evil by being the evidence of good so frequently that we create a little "lack of balance" in the evil surrounding us.  Just sayin!