Saturday, August 18, 2012
Welcome to Day 230 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Jeremiah 26:8, “But as soon as Jeremiah finished telling all the people everything the Lord had commanded him to say, the priests, the prophets and all the people seized him and said, “You must die!”
Jeremiah 35:18, “‘You have obeyed the command of your forefather Jonadab and have followed all his instructions and have done everything he ordered.’ 19 Therefore, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Jonadab son of Recab will never fail to have a man to serve me.’”
Jeremiah 36:23, “Whenever Jehudi had read three or four columns of the scroll, the king cut them off with a scribe’s knife and threw them into the firepot, until the entire scroll was burned in the fire. 24 “The king and all his attendants who heard all these words showed no fear, nor did they tear their clothes. 25 Even though Elnathan, Delaiah and Gemariah urged the king not to burn the scroll, he would not listen to them.”
John 20:24, “Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed;
blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
How often do we not want to hear what someone has to say to us? Advice, a rebuke, feedback…
A word from the Lord?
Even though all the disciples and many others close to him told Thomas that they had seen the Lord, he refused to believe. Not that he couldn’t… or didn’t, there seems to be an air of refusal in his statement. “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”
“I will not believe it.”
“I will not…”
Often times when the Lord would send Jeremiah to someone with a message, they would discard it. The King actually cut up the scroll with Jeremiah’s word on it and burned it! (Against better judgment…)
I was having coffee yesterday with a friend. We have been friends for nearly 20 years. Several years ago we had a difficult situation that we had to work through involving our kids.
I simply asked him, “Hey… are we ok?” He replied, “Of course, why wouldn’t we be?” “Well, what we went through back then was pretty hard. I just thought I’d ask.” I told him, “Every now and then, when we’re together, it kind of rises up in my heart and I begin to wonder… so I just thought I’d ask, rather than wonder.”
I was prepared for whatever…
He simply said, “Yes. That was a difficult time, but I think we all handled it the best we could.” He said, “I’m sure I didn’t always handle everything perfectly, I’m sure you probably didn’t either, but I think all parties involved gave it their best shot.” (In so many words…)
We didn’t belabor the issue… But it was nice just to know how he felt, years later.
People say, “Time heals all wounds.”
I think wounds need attention. Issues need to be talked out. Forgiveness is key.
But when things are not talked out, or are “swept under the rug,” they don’t heal. Once the topic or the issue comes up again, you can be right back where you started.
It’s difficult though when people choose to not deal with issues. (I’d say we’re all guilty of that…)
But I’ve learned that I can only clean up my side of the street, not yours. I can’t control you, I can only control me. I can’t control what you think or how you feel about me… but what I can do is open it up for discussion and try to bring healing to whatever the situation may be…
I try to remove the plank(s) from my own eye before trying to remove the speck from someone else’s eye.
Now, I’ll admit, I can shrug off a whole lot more than most people. I’m not easily offended, and I’m pretty thick skinned… (but I do have feelings.)
The key is to keep short accounts. To do the Matthew 18 principle and go to the person. It says, “If you know your brother has something against you…” It’s not even, “If I have something against my brother…” If I know you have something against me, I should go to you… and I should do it before I give my offering. (It’s that important.)
The thing is, you never know if the person will tear up the scroll and burn it.
Lord, help me to always keep short accounts and to clean up my side of the road.