The things I wanted to get done at work Friday evening took much longer than I had anticipated, meaning it was very late when I got home, so it felt good to sleep in a little bit this morning. Once I was awake, the first task of the day was to cut my hair to get rid of some of the wooliness. It is always interesting how much hair I cut off as I use the same attachment on the clippers each time and I never wake up marveling at how much my hair had grown since the day before. I’ve heard people describe a boring event as having as much excitement as watching paint dry . . . perhaps we could change that to being as exciting as watching hair grow. 🙂 A lot of things in life are that way. We cruise along the highway of life thinking one day is pretty much the same as the one before until all of a sudden an unexpected event causes us to realize how much change has taken place.
Sometimes that change is good and it is a result of positive growth. But since growth doesn’t happen by accident, most of the time we can see that coming even if it is more significant that we had anticipated. Unfortunately, the change that most often catches us by surprise is the subtle slide toward thoughts, attitudes, and actions that are not Christ-like. We become exposed to things that shock us the first time, and perhaps even the first ten times. But sooner or later, a day comes when that same thing takes place and we don’t even give it a second thought. In fact, we will often say, “I didn’t even notice.” I use social media a lot as a means to share the thoughts and words that God puts in my mind and the photographs that express His creativity. The vast majority of people who are my connections on social media are Christians which makes the amount of profanity and vulgarity that I see on a daily basis somewhat more disturbing that what it is simply by its presence. It typically means that someone didn’t notice, or didn’t care, that the post they were liking, sharing, or commenting on was profane at its very core. We have become so used to hearing and seeing all the words that once would have gotten my mouth washed out with soap, to the point that people get offended if we privately point out the language they are publicly sharing. I know, I’m “old-fashioned”, but if someone says, or posts, the phrase “pardon the language”, I have to ask, “Why?” Why use the language if it has to be pardoned? Why should I overlook something that is profane and vulgar simply because someone thought it would give their statement more weight or credibility? Why accept this type of thing as normal for God’s children?
After the haircut, much of the day was spent pondering and meditating on the text and outline for tomorrow’s sermon — that is, in between the napping and relaxing that took place. I also spent a lot of time considering how hateful people have become in our society. It’s like the entire nation is back in junior high and somehow we believe that if I continue to point out all of your faults with increasing volume and fervor, then no one will notice all of my faults. A good question to ask before we like, share, or comment on anything, “Is the name of Christ being lifted up and made known in this, or is it being sullied and dragged through the mud?” Jesus said that all men would know we are His disciples by the way we love one another. Unfortunately, many seem to act like all men will know we are His disciples by thew way we publicly point out the hypocrisy of one another. As the day wraps up, I pray that God’s Spirit would convict each of us of our need to love one another — especially those we disagree with. The world sees more than enough fighting, hatred, and war without needing the Christian community to add to it as we try to justify ourselves by making others look bad. What if, even in the midst of political disagreement, Christians rose above the hatred and showed the world what true, Godly love looks like? I think then, we would have something that would lift up Christ and draw all peoples to Him.
Today’s photo is of last night’s sunset as seen from work. For me, watching God paint the sky is an incredible thing. His wonders are too much to fathom, yet I continually seek Him for greater understanding.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- Faithfulness is God’s measure of success.
- Finishing the work He created in advance for us to do ought to be a priority for us.
- Knowing God so we know what that work is, ought to be foundational in our life.
- Don’t worry if growth isn’t apparent day to day as long as you are still walking with God each day. The growth is taking place and one day will be noticed.
- If you’re not deliberately walking with God each day, you ought to be concerned about a negative growth taking place.
- Yes, times have changed, but God has not. We don’t get to decide what is “coarse and foolish” or “unwholesome” talk, God sets the standard for what is pure.
- When God says, “Love covers a multitude of sins.”, He’s not just talking about the sins of “the other guy”.
- God wants His children to make Him known as clearly, and even more clearly than, He is visible in creation.