“They’ve had some evolution.”
The statement declared some growth, some change toward what the speaker believed. People were growing into what he proclaimed, so he saw it as evolutionary, productive, advance.
We need to be careful what we see as progress. We can encourage people in directions that might not be the best (or the best timing) for them.
I’m not saying anything is wishy-washy and relative and that there is no direction that is better or worse than another. There is truth. Absolute Truth. But many of the things we claim as evolutionary are more on the fringes of truth than the center of it. There is spine truth and rib truth. The spine is non-negotiable. The ribs give some structure but we can do without one or two.
Through it all, the person is more important than the issue. When we define people based on where they are or where they’ve been, we minimize them even in the context of what is intended to be a compliment. We make people about their actions instead of their motivations, reasons, potential, and purpose.
The world teaches us to fight for what we want, not what we need.
The world certainly doesn’t encourage us to fight for what and how God leads.
Maybe it’s because seeking God and grasping His will is a bit more challenging than understanding and reaching for our own. After all, we know what we want.
But it changes.
Consider what you most wanted when you were two years old. Eight. Twelve. Nineteen. Twenty-five. And so on. Now consider what would have happened if you had actually received what you most wanted.
On the other hand, what if someone could see and understand the bigger picture and guide us, not just based on the desires of the here and now but the benefits and consequences down the road a bit?
That’s what God can do.
So instead of fighting for what we want, let’s put all that effort into pointing toward Him. He is powerful enough to fight for Himself. He doesn’t need us to figure it all out and proclaim solutions to everyone. He wants us to seek Him and trust Him to take care of all the details along that pursuit. We wants us to honor Him with grace, mercy, love, compassion, and truth every step of the way.
We can be okay with uncertainty but not hypocrisy.
When we’re not okay with uncertainty, we invite hypocrisy. When we’re not okay with uncertainty, we claim something just to seem or feel certain. We think a firm stand is better than no stand at all. But we can easily find ourselves on anything by firm ground. Just because we take a firm stand doesn’t mean where we stand is firm. We claim what isn’t true or right or correct, and we find others see us as hypocritical.
Perhaps what’s more important is that we begin to see the hypocrisy within ourselves.
Just because we’re confident in one thing doesn’t mean we have to have all the answers in everything. Just because we stand on a firm foundation at one time because we’re certain of a core truth doesn’t mean we can claim firm truth under our feet no matter where we step and what topics we cover.
Humility is essential to being a lifelong learner, and if we’re not willing to learn and change throughout our lives, not only do we lose, but so do others around us.
For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor, a lifetime. Weeping may spend the night, but there is joy in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)
Sometimes it seems the opposite is true: His favor seems more fleeting, His anger more lasting, joy temporary and weeping chronic. But our feelings and perspective can deceive us. When we claim God’s perspective and truth, we can claim and trust what is lasting and what is fleeting.
No matter what, God is God. He is faithful and trustworthy. He is merciful and just. He is sovereign. He created, cares, corrects, and comforts. He encourages, equips, and engages. When we know Him better, we know ourselves better. Because, really, it is more about Him than us.
This has become my jam song on “those” days. Turn it up and claim it!
I got somethin’ make the devil gonna run
I got the King of kings and the Lords of hosts
I got angel armies and a Holy Ghost
I got spirits here that are tied by fire
I got a valley of bones that came alive
I got a cross, a hill, and an empty grave
I got a trumpet sound and one sweet name
Shake the gate of hell, the sinners and dogs
I got my Jesus and the devil gotta run
The instruction of the Lord is perfect, renewing one’s life; the testimony of the Lord is trustworthy, making the inexperienced wise. The precepts of the Lord are right, making the heart glad; the command of the Lord is radiant, making the eyes light up. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are reliable and altogether righteous. (Psalm 19:7-9)
How do these verses describe the Lord’s instruction? What about the Lord’s testimony? The Lord’s precepts? His command? What about the fear of Him, or His ordinances?
Perfect. Renewing. Trustworthy. Right. Glad. Radiant. Pure. Forever. Reliable. Righteous.
Scripture reveals God. So does creation. All we need to do is look around, search, and proclaim the truth of what we see and who He is.
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky proclaims the work of His hands. Day after day they pour out speech; night after night they communicate knowledge. There is no speech; there are no words; their voice is not heard. Their message has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens He has pitched a tent for the sun. (Psalm 19:1-4)
For His eyes watch over a man’s ways, and He observes all his steps. There is no darkness, no deep darkness, where evildoers can hide themselves. (Job 34:29-30)
I find this comforting. Not in a “you better watch out, because God is going to get you” kind of claim to any “evildoer” out there. It comforts me because nothing escapes God. Nothing can eclipse His light. Nothing can go unnoticed or overlooked. His light and truth permeates it all. Nothing I see, say, think, or consider. Nothing I see someone else do or think they might consider doing. Nothing I hear about, nothing I don’t hear about. Nothing.
As dark as any situation, person, action seems, it cannot be deep enough to escape the reach of God’s light. His light reaches the depths to redeem sometimes, and at other times, it simply sheds enough light to let others see the truth of evil trying to live and thrive in darkness. Sometimes, God requires us to shine His light into the darkness, facing what we might fear to acknowledge the truth, lessening the sting, and keeping it in proper perspective.
Our eyes adjust to the darkness or the light with which we surround ourselves.