Comments are off for this post

Tuesday Thoughts 11-21-17

The evidence of the goodness of God so often shows up in my life as the replacement of my ideas with His.  Take this morning for instance.  I was prepared to come into work, sit down at my desk and pen (okay, type) a specifically themed Tuesday Thoughts.  But as the scriptures came alive in this morning’s devotion time (do you notice how often this happens here?), it all changed.  Oh, it’s still connected to Thanksgiving, but not in that, “what we have to be thankful for” way.  It’s kind of the flip side of the issue.  Look at this one verse in the New Testament book of James: “Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look—the Judge is standing at the door!” James 5:9 (NLT).  This looks harsh doesn’t it?  In our culture, we are especially sensitive and adverse to issues of being judged, but this is one of those “tough garbanzo beans” truths.  God does not like us grumbling, especially against one another in the family called church.  You don’t like judgment?  Don’t grumble!  Now before you are too generous in the assessment of your lack of negativity toward others, let’s look at the definition of “grumble”.  It means, “to groan or sigh.”  Uh oh, this may seem more difficult than it looked at first blush.  You see, we all know we’re not supposed to run other people down and constantly complain about them (though we struggle with that too), but James, the brother of Jesus, moved by the Holy Spirit wrote that the little sigh of frustration or inward groan directed at the imperfection (or difference) of others is also worthy of the disapproval of the Almighty, because it comes out of a spirit of judgement (we reap what we sow…).  Can we be both thankful and judgmental?  James addressed this earlier in his book: “Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. James 3:10 (NIV84).  This is not an easy thing to conquer.  So that you know I feel your pain, this morning, just mere minutes after praying not to be a grumbler, I caught myself doing it!  So here’s what I’m going to try to do.  I’m going to change how I keep score.  Don’t deny it, you keep score too.  Actually, keeping score is a Thanksgiving holiday tradition (how else will I know how the hapless Lions are doing?), and a valuable practice when it is done right (“count it all joy” James 1:2 KJV).  In my new score-keeping system, I’m going to tally up all the awesome things you, my brothers and sisters in Christ, are putting on in Jesus!  No other things will be on the scoreboard.  Not failings (because I fail), not differences (boy am I different!), not disappointments.  The truth is that the things I keep score on are the things that will come to mind and mouth.  I want my expressions to be thankful ones!  Why don’t you come along for the ride too?

Comments are closed.