Skip to main content

But it seems that...

How little do they see what really is, who frame their hasty judgment upon that which seems. (Daniel Webster)

I pray that he will use his glorious riches to make you strong. May his Holy Spirit give you his power deep down inside you. Then Christ will live in your hearts because you believe in him. And I pray that your love will have deep roots. I pray that it will have a strong foundation. (Ephesians 3:16-17)

If you looked upon my life on any given day, you might not always see the evidence of Christ coming through is some of my actions or words. Why is that? While I have a 'strong foundation' (Christ in me) and believe the 'right stuff' (the Word of God and the Holy Spirit's urging), I don't always make right choices. I speak before I think, step out before I seek direction, and sometimes just lazily approach life as though time didn't matter. If you just looked at the outward, you might form a wrong impression. If you knew the struggle going on inside me between my will and God's on occasion, you might ask why I am still struggling with some of the stuff that seems so simple to you. We are all at differing levels of growth or maturity. We may 'see' something, but not know what it is that is really occurring 'below the surface' inside one's mind, emotions, and soul. When it comes to forming any 'opinion' about another, we need to rely upon God to show us what is truly beneath the surface - not just form our hasty judgments by what 'seems' to be the case.

One of my most favorite quotes from Mr. Webster is the reminder that "the most important thought that ever occupied my mind is that of my individual responsibility to God." That is a bit of a deep one, but I like it because he reminds us of our responsibilities in this walk - it isn't to impress others - it is to please God. We can have all manner of outward appearances that seem to please what others think, while we are doing God a great injustice in our inner man. Webster also said that a strong conviction that something must be done is really the parent of many bad actions! It takes more than strong convictions to live obedient, growing, emotionally and spiritually healthy lives. It takes falling in love with Jesus over and over again. It can require us to leave certain things behind, take up other things, and refocus our lives more often than we might consider to be within our comfort level. This walk with Jesus is not for the wimpy - it requires some 'mustered strength' at times.

You and I may not know how much 'mustered strength' someone is actually working within on any given day, but if we are hasty to judge by the measure of strength we observe outwardly, we may just make irrational judgments. Christ is indeed at work inwardly, but it can take a while for the inward work to get to the outside sometimes! Evidence of that strength may not come through until the work is a little more 'final'. Remembering that roots grow in a periodic and slow manner may actually help us to not be too quick to judge another by what 'seems' to be the evidence of growth in one's life. Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,

Do me a favor

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. (Philippians 2:1-4) Has God's love made ANY difference in your life? What is that difference? Most of us will likely say that our lives were changed for the good, while others will say there was a dramatic change. Some left behind lifestyles marked by all manner of outward sin - like drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, or even thievery. There are many that will admit the things they left behind were just a bit subtler - what we can call inward sin - things like jealousy,