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Friday, November 21, 2008

Words to live by

A friend of mine (the one who got me to my new church) and I have had lots and lots of discussions about politics and God and religion. He is way more conservative than I am, so we obviously see issues very differently. We go around and around. He always comes back to "What does the Bible say?"

This is honestly a new way of looking at things for me. While I come from a religious (Catholic) background, neither my church nor my family held the Bible up as much more than a story book (at least, that's my perception. Both my church and parents might see things quite differently). I find myself saying things like, "It doesn't seem right that..." and "It doesn't seem fair that..."

Well, Tuesday night I was reading in the Bible, and though I've seen the words several times, they really jumped out at me that night:

Judges 17:6 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.


Um. Oh. I know it shouldn't really be a revelation that it's not about how I see things...and yet it hit me. It didn't touch me in a personal sense in relation to my own actions or behavior; it was more than it's not up to me to figure out what is OK for people because God has already done that for us.

And then, today, the Proverbs31 devotion came, and the Scripture at the very beginning spoke to me:
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…”
Proverbs 3: 5 (NIV)


This is a big one for me. It has touched me time and again. I am an analytical person. I spend a lot of time thinking things through. I used to joke about how commitment-phobic my husband was, but it turns out that I am quite shy to make a commitment regarding new beliefs. I don't think thinking things through is wrong, but there comes a point when you get trapped in all of the analysis and weighing things. My own understanding is so imperfect; I need to relax and let myself sink into the Lord's teaching. Rather than doing so, I can still feel myself tense and straining to figure things out. I know it's a process, but I can't help picturing myself up on the diving board, bouncing and bouncing but not quite able to step into the air. (And when I do, I'll probably end up dangling in the air with my fingertips clinging to the end of the board! :D)

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