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Find your delight

Find your delight in the Lord. Then he will give you everything your heart really wants. 
(Psalm 37:4)

Do you know how this psalm begins? David begins by telling us to stop being upset because of sinful people and to stop being jealous of all those around us who are doing wrong. Do you ever find yourself caught up in the moments of comparison where you actually begin to bemoan the fact the ones doing wrong around you seem to prosper and you are just struggling to make it through? I think this can be more commonplace than we might first believe. It is hard to see people behaving poorly and seeming to just slide on by without anyone calling them on their behavior. It is hard to observe injustices overlooked. The instruction is quite simple - stop dwelling on their 'good fortune' in the midst of some pretty poorly made choices on their part. Why? The answer is found in the next verse - "Like grass, they will soon dry up. Like green plants, they will soon die." Our response should be to "trust in the Lord and do good". In the face of their evil, do good. In the midst of their hurtful behavior, do good. In the moments when things seem to be going from bad to worse, do good.

How do we 'do good' when all around us is something quite the opposite? The answer is found in David's next instruction to us - find your delight in the Lord! When we find our delight in the Lord, we don't have time, nor interest in focusing on how 'well' the sinful are doing. Instead, we find ways of binding up the wounds of those they are continually offending! Did you realize one of the primary definitions of 'delight' is to be content? Contentment doesn't come in what we see or feel as much as it comes in what we know about who is in control of the circumstances. We find pleasure in getting close to God and then we find ways to invite others into that place of closeness, thereby countering the evil done around us. We aren't getting upset - we aren't even getting even - we are rising above. God's 'ask' isn't that we just sit idly by, but rather that we find ways to turn the eyes around us toward him.

Please don't get me wrong when I share this, but I observed a man on a street corner this past weekend with a great deal of misguided passion. You see, he was attempting to 'preach' from the street corner at the local Farmer's Market, but instead of turning eyes toward heaven, he was hurling insults that weren't taken very well by those in hearing range. He actually called those of us in the crowd 'gomers' because we have been 'duped' by lies, but by referring to the crowd as inept or stupid, he was 'souring' them on ever hearing the message he desired to deliver. I am not a huge fan of 'doomsday' preaching from the street corners anyway, but this type of preaching only gives Christians a bad rap. Why? The words are hurtful, not helpful. God's greatest joy comes in seeing a life changed, lived out in beauty and grace. His hope is that we learn to share that beauty and grace with others in a way that helps them to realize they can 'rise above' this world's evil and hurtfulness, as well. Just sayin!

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