Thursday, February 14, 2019

What are you hunting now?

My brother is a hunter. He is quite skilled at the tracking of the animals he hunts. He is able to recognize signs of their coming and going. In the effort to find a good place for his blind, he can find those positions that allow him to observe unnoticed and in time, he is able to find his target. While I am not a hunter in terms of carrying a gun, tracking game, and bringing home the meat, I am a good hunter when it comes to a bargain! I like to find that 'end-cap' hideaway where bargains go to hide and then find something I can use at a greatly reduced price. There are all kinds of 'hunters' out there and all kinds of 'hunted things' to boot. I wonder if we were all to hunt for the right and good things in life just how different our culture might become?

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

Clean living before God and justice with our neighbors are just two of the traits that exemplify the life that is 'on the hunt' for what is right and kind. There is much to be said for these two traits, but nothing that says it quite like God did when he told us these two traits mean more to him than any pursuit of religious performance on our part (Proverbs 21:3). Clean living is more than just not chewing, cussing, or running with those that do. It is a choice to allow the influence of the Word of God and the presence of the Holy Spirit refine our daily actions so they align with what is good and right. While this isn't always the case in our lives, the more we allow that influence to permeate our choices, the closer our actions will be to what can be termed 'clean living'. 

Justice with our neighbors can be viewed a couple of different ways. Maybe one of the most elemental ways to interpret this is just the idea of being fair with them. Fairness implies that we remove those things that create any bias or dishonesty from the relationship. In other words, we don't prejudge and we don't live secretive lives. We are transparent in our faith and we allow others to see the love of God displayed through us. Not by 'preaching' at them every chance we get, but by being good neighbors who look out for them. Pick a few weeds once in a while, or roll their trash can back up from the curb. It won't hurt you and it shows that you aren't afraid to be the kind of neighbor God wants you to be!

Our passage implies there is a purposeful movement required - we have to "go" hunting for what is right and kind. It doesn't just fall into our laps! My brother has to pack up the toy hauler, get all the gear together he will need for that week long trip, and then set out for places with limited access and that require him some effort to get into. Then he has to set up for the week, exhibit a whole lot of patience, and even be willing to tear down / move / set up again if things aren't working out where he first explores. The pursuit of good things isn't a one time deal, my friends. It is a continual process and one which requires our involvement. Sometimes I think we believe God will deliver all goodness right into our laps. The truth is that God may require us to put forth some effort to see that 'goodness' worked out in our lives! We often find what we are hunting for, but it requires the hunt. Just sayin!

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