Sometimes, you can miss a sentence, just a very few words and miss an essential truth.
Check this out.
Talked about the negative action, the 'not' power of grumbling, complaining, arguing in the last briefing, right?
["This One's For You" http://pastorwoman.com/ReadArchive.aspx?id=2960]
But consider these few words of Paul . . . we can be blameless, pure children of God by holding firm to the Word of God,1 ingesting and digesting the words of God to us.
True confession: sometimes, I am very disciplined about what I put into my body - that is, I consume food as fuel, nothing less and nothing more. Other times, I am careless. Sure, I can cite stress or fatigue or general distraction, but nonetheless, I am sometimes a good deal less careful.
Same thing with what I let into my mind, into my heart, into my soul. And honestly, we are all different. Just as some of us can watch gory, graphic movies and seeminglybe unaffected, others are hyper sensitive to what we see, and hear. And I submit to you that we all ought be a little more aware, a little more prudent about what we let past our own personal ports of entry - whether our eyes, ears, hearts or souls.
I want to be a positive person . . . well sure, but there's more.
I want to be someone others want to be around - yeah, that's good, but still more
I want to be a force for good. . . an agent of change? Yeah, both of those.
I want to be a person who honors God, not distracted by all that I am told I could be, should be, am not . . . according to the culture around me, but listening to the One who gives me my worth, my purpose, who holds me in his hand, who holds my future ~ my eternal loving Father.
How to be that person?
I know this is not shocking - but the answer is in God's Word - which Paul says 'we can be blameless, pure children of God by holding firm to the Word of God.' Philippians 2.16.
He instructed simply, Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.2
Look at this great take by Eugene Peterson on Colossians 3.1-23
So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ-that's where the action is.
See things from his perspective.
Distraction? Yes, of course, everyday living distracts us from seeing things from God's perspective - of us, of his action in and around us, of eternal things. Case in point, the other day I had been watching for my neighbor to come home as I knew her elderly mother has been recently sick. 'How is she? Is she okay now? Is there anything I can do?' These are the things I wanted to know.
Linda's mom was/is doing better, HOWEVER . . . [geez, it is always the however that we let get in the way of our faith, right?] Some statement had come from Social Security that indicated they may be coming after her mom for 25 years of payments that weren't correct . . . Oh no! Distraction? Without doubt. The letter brought fear, anxiety, worry - set off a whole chain of things which are natural, HOWEVER, note that there was one 3-letter word in there: m-a-y.
Instantly, understandably, this sort of thing can take us sideways. That's when he hold firmly to the Word of God, his truths, his promises - he will never leave us alone, he is always with us, he holds us in the palm of his hand and he will fight the battle for us if we will turn it over to him. Oh, yeah - now I remember.
Let's covenant to start our day in his Word, ingesting and digesting his truths before we go into our day where we just might be given conflicting messages - then we will be ready. What do you say - with me?
1 - Philippians 2.16
2 - Colossians 3.2, CSB
3 - Colossians 3.1-2, The Message