Wednesday, June 13, 2018

I think I have separation anxiety!

Dear friend, do what I tell you; treasure my careful instructions. Do what I say and you'll live well. My teaching is as precious as your eyesight—guard it! Write it out on the back of your hands; etch it on the chambers of your heart. Talk to Wisdom as to a sister. Treat Insight as your companion. They'll be with you to fend off the Temptress—that smooth-talking, honey-tongued Seductress. (Proverbs 7:1-5 MSG)

Scripture speaks of Wisdom and Insight as a person - the person of Jesus Christ. God's primary purpose in telling us of the 'person' of Wisdom and Insight is for us to get to know Jesus' character a little better. The character of a person is what we sometimes call the 'real person'. A person's character is more than their personality - it is made up of their code of moral conduct and even their consistency in being honest or true in their actions. Keeping the commandments of God has great reward - a reward of developing the character traits we so often read about when we discover the truths of Christ within scripture. All of character is formed by the keeping of a two-part command: 1) Do and 2) Treasure. One is an action, the other a condition of the heart that influences the action. The reward of the action - life will be well for us.

There is this wisdom that comes from wise counsel and then there is the wisdom that comes from the Word of God - both combined are to be as precious to us as our eyesight. I remember a time when I had to have one eye patched for over a week due to a problem with the cornea of my eye. The pain in my injured eye was so significant that the other eye had a "sympathetic" response to the pain, making it almost impossible to keep my good eye open and responsive to stimuli. The doctor was uncertain if my eyesight would be affected by the injury to the cornea and he actually had nothing hopeful to offer me as I recovered. I naturally felt anxious about the possibilities of losing my eyesight or having some permanent impairment from this ulceration that had formed. Why? We depend on our eyesight so very much. Yet, if we are totally truthful here, we almost take it for granted. There is a warning to us of taking God's leading and direction (his wisdom) for granted - whether it comes through the wise counsel of a friend, the tender nudges of the Holy Spirit, or the personal revelation of truth from the Scriptures - it is never to be taken for granted.

We are to talk to Wisdom as to a sister or brother; treat Insight as our companion. Think about the very nature of our Savior. He is closer to us than a sibling - as a matter of fact, he is our older sibling! My two grandsons are inseparable. The youngest follows after the oldest, getting into his "space" as much as humanly possible - even to the point of falling all over him with hugs and physical affection - and sometimes wrestling matches that don't always end up as well as he'd hoped. When they are separated - there is a tendency of the younger to want the oldest back. Is this is our relationship with Jesus? Are we earnestly "connected" to him as our sibling? Are we lavishing him with our affection and praise? Are we lost without him in our 'space'?

Jesus is our wisdom. He has the ultimate knowledge of what is true and yearns to show us truth at every turn. He knows what is right and he couples that with the understanding of what actions produce right living. It is nice to have a "big brother" to look up to for direction in our lives. Treat Insight as your companion - what better companion to have than Insight. Jesus has the complete understanding of the motivation behind our every action. We don't even possess that on our own - if we did, we probably wouldn't have done half of the dumb stuff we have done in this lifetime! No wonder God urges us to spend time getting to know our "sibling", Christ Jesus! He wants us to have our lives deeply affected by the one who can reveal even the deepest secrets of our heart and bring true revelation of sound judgment into our circumstances. When we get to know Jesus with this kind of intimacy, we can be assured that we have all we need to avoid the tempting seductress we can easily call "sin" in our lives.

Let's get to know our "big brother", Jesus! Talking frequently with him and spending time in companionable enjoyment of his presence is not a short-cut to some 'special place', but it is a 'space' to be experienced as often as possible. Perhaps we will develop the heart of a loyal sibling, never wanting to be separated from him, always seeking him out, and never being afraid to get in "his space" as often as possible. Just sayin!

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