Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sacrifice of Fools

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                                                             [photo of Lillooet Fire]

Most days you will see me in jeans and a shirt because that is how I'm the most comfortable. When I go to church, I am usually wearing a pair of clean jeans. I believe that God is not as concerned about what we wear as He is about who we are. Of course, there is protocol with God—but it’s not so much about the clothes we wear. This is where we begin chapter 5.

First of all, God doesn’t play games. He knows us at the core of our beings and we can’t fool Him. When we come to Him we are approaching the Author of life! Our lives are a mere vapor in His hands! Still, for some reason He is mindful of us. Even more mind boggling than this, He actually loves us--even in the quagmire of our humanity. What we don't always realize, is that God is a realist. He doesn’t play around with our lives (actually, that would be us), there is too much at stake.

If you were invited to meet the Queen of England, how would you approach her? Apparently there’s a whole team of people delegated to make sure you use the correct protocol. She is but a representative; an earthly Queen.

How then should we approach God?

The only way to approach God is with awed reverence and honesty, realizing Who He is! He is worthy of our awe and reverence, our praise and worship! If we’re honest with ourselves, we realize there’s really nothing much we can say to God that He isn’t already aware of. So when you come, open your ears, listen carefully and watch your words so you don’t give the sacrifice of fools.

Speaking of words, many years ago I read a little book called “The Power of the Tongue.” It claims our words are powerful and can set a whole forest ablaze! Have you ever witnessed a forest fire? Just watching it leaves a huge impact, not to mention the damage it leaves behind. As we watch, we realize that once it’s been set, it’s very hard to control.  It is very much like that with our words. We often don’t realize the damage we are doing with them--and not just to others, also to ourselves. Their reach goes beyond what we can imagine.
                                                                           
Remember that little saying...”sticks and stones can break my bones, but names can never hurt me?” Proverbs 18:21 tells us that “death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” It seems our words have some pretty amazing power!

An encouraging word has the power to pull someone out of depression; give someone that boost they need to try something new; make someone feel better about some aspect of their life. Words that curse also do things. They make people angry, bitter, resentful, and even vengeful. They bring hurt not only to the hearer, but also the giver of them. What kind of words do you speak?

That said, I am also guilty of saying things I shouldn’t say. Before I realize it the words are out of my mouth and the damage is done. Sound familiar?  It’s just foolishness! It’s better to say nothing at all!

I’m only responsible for the thoughts I accept. Just because I’m thinking it, doesn’t mean it’s my thought! We have so many things bombarding us through television and radio programs.  Music is also a huge culprit. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve caught myself thinking lyrics I don’t agree with. I’m so drawn to the beauty of the music that I don’t always realize the words I’m listening to. Very subtle!

It would be wise to examine the thoughts we are having. In other words, if the thought in your mind doesn’t line up with what you believe...don’t speak it! While you’re at it, purposefully recognize that thought and discard it by replacing it with a true thought that you do believe.  Our thoughts are intertwined with who we are and who we become. This is one way that we battle the lies we are bombarded with on a daily basis. I believe that the cleaner and purer our thoughts are, the easier it will be to hear that still small voice that we so desperately need to listen to.

Well, we only got partway through Chapter 5—but then, what’s the hurry? I’ve realized that I often try to cover too much in one post, so I’m taking things a little slower. 

Thank you for visiting! I appreciate your comments and insights!

3 comments:

  1. Carmen,
    Our words are surely a powerful tool/weapon! I fear I don't use mine as I should. Just one stray/careless/rash/angry/impulsive sentence can cause such damage. And as you said, one affirming sentence can make a world of difference.

    Thank you for your kind words on my EO post. You made my day.

    Blessings,
    Kelli

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  2. I start so many conversations with God by saying, "You know how I feel about this...." But, it's part of my verbal submission to saying "I don't know what I'm doing, and I need Your help."

    Words are tough. I write better than I speak, but that doesn't mean I'm a perfect writer. I can be misunderstood. I can be too sarcastic. I can miss someone's point, and thus the opportunity to share the right words. Probably why I don't dare actually say too much!!

    Such rich text, yes? You're right...there's a lot here to cover. Really good stuff!

    And, to echo Kelli, I, too, must thank you for your thoughtful comments on In Between Time. The encouragement to continue on with such a study is blessed by those who join you on the journey and inspire you to keep thinking deep! I so appreciate what you add in observation.

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  3. Our thoughts and our words speak loudly about who we are - and where we are in our walk with Jesus. I need to be reminded often to let my thoughts and words be acceptable in His eyes! And I'm learning that a closer, more intimate walk with Him is the only way to do that.

    Thanks for a good post!

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