Saturday, September 8, 2007

Weeping Whores

As soon as the angel of the LORD spoke these words to all the people of Israel, the people lifted up their voices and wept. (Judges 2:4 ESV)

Yet they did not listen to their judges, for they whored after other gods and bowed down to them. They soon turned aside from the way in which their fathers had walked, who had obeyed the commandments of the LORD, and they did not do so. (Judges 2:17 ESV)
My morning reading has taken me to the book of Judges. I am reminded of the roller coaster of spirituality that God’s people experience. Not only in the book of Judges but in all the Old Testament the story is the same. The people end up in bondage, spend years in captivity, finally God has mercy and brings deliverance and some years later, they repeat it again.

Don’t you wish we were not like them?

I know that as I look back on my life I can see some well-worn ruts that I have repeatedly traveled. A crisis may cause me to pay particular attention to certain areas of my life but time goes on, lessons are forgotten and sure enough, I end up on that path again.

One of my roads is summed up in this verse from Ephesians 4:29: Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you.

I am really good at recognizing and pointing out the faults of others. I have a very hard time recognizing and pointing out the good things that people do. It’s something I pray about daily – that I would have encouraging speech, that I would recognize good done and that I would bring grace and joy into my home.

I think I am doing better on holding back some of the bad words but not as good in expressing the good I see in people. Even though I see it sometimes, I have a hard time saying it.

If you have any good ideas on how to cultivate the edifying speech, I would be glad to hear them. I would like to see some of those old ruts filled in.

Philip

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