I’m reading in Ecclesiastes this morning and I read something that reminded me of something I read in Ruth Bell Graham’s book yesterday Legacy of a Pack Rat. It’s a topic that is often on my mind.
Chapter 7, vs 13 says, “Consider the work of God; for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked.” And vs 21-22 says, “Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee: For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.”
I am currently in training to be the mother of a teenager. My brother is turning 14 this week and he has teenageritis bad. I often find myself looking at him with shock and thinking “REALLY!!?” So far I’ve found it best to use the theory behind these verses although I must admit that sometimes “big sister mode” kicks in. (O.K. Mom, so that mode kicks in more often than it should =)
Example: He says something really stupid and while giving him a blank look my mind is racing with thoughts like, “He can’t really mean that. Where does this kid get off? I’m the adult here. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Cut him some slack, big sis. He will grow up one of these days.” And the kicker, “You were probably just as bad when you were a teenager.” Although I doubt that one was true. =)
So, to connect the dots; I have a picture in mind of what I think a person should be like-Straight. But God doesn’t make things the way I think they should be made. He makes them the way He thinks they should be made and I really have no control over whether or not they are straight or crooked. And besides, I’ve probably done the same thing a time or two myself. After all, “there is nothing new under the sun”.
Ruth put it this way.
Who hasn’t, at one time or anothr, fallen flat on one’s face? Some people seem more prone to fall than others, more prone to failure. [God’s crooked vs. our straight?]
I recall one baby Christan (a grown man, but a baby Christian). . .
The older Christians were waiting for this man to fall. And it wasn’t long before he obliged them.
He said later that the greatest stumbling block in the beginning of his Christian life was not his old drinkig buddies, but skeptical Christians waiting for him to fall flat on his face so they could say, “I told you so!”
Many of us feel we have the gift of discernment when it comes to the faults and failures of other Christians–and on top of that, the gift of disapproval as well. But even our Lord came not to condemn (we were already condemned), “but that the world through him might be saved John 3:17).
Who in your family or among your acquaintances do you most heartily disapprove of? Don’t you think that one is already eaten up with guilt? How can you show kindness?