Monday, December 3, 2012
Welcome to Day 337 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
Romans 13:8, “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
Romans 14:22. “So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God.”
Romans 15:20, “It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation.”
Romans 16:20, “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.”
Romans 14 may be my favorite passage in the whole Bible!
See my previous entry for Romans 14 from June 2.
In Romans 14 Paul is writing about those who are “weak in faith” on certain matters. He addresses celebrating certain days, eating certain foods and other issues like drinking wine… He is addressing matters of conscience, things that may or may not be a sin, depending on a person’s conscience.
One of my favorite verses is “What you believe about these things keep between yourself and God.” 14:22.
It’s so easy to take an issue that we feel strongly about and push it on other people. To try to make them feel the way I feel about any particular thing, that I either do or don’t consider to be a sin, or not, as the case may be.
But that’s great advice for all of us… “What you believe about these things keep between yourself and God.” To not let anyone lead us into something that we feel strongly against. Or to not allow anyone to put down something we feel is ok…
Certain things are clearly black and white. Others, not so much…
Take music for instance…
I burned all my records at one point. I needed to. Music was an idol. I had read in Acts about the 50,000 drachma fire, when the people of the city brought all their books on sorcery and burnt them. I was inspired to purge myself of all my needless records.
It was therapeutic…
As I’ve grown in my faith over the past 25 years, I have been able to relax on such matters. (At least some…) I still have strong feelings about some things, just not everything.
But it’s not been easy for me, really…
I like black and white. It’s clear. Concise. Makes for a nice checklist I can follow.
Do this, don’t do that.
But gray… Gray requires me to think… to ponder. To challenge my belief system. To really sort through things. To arrive at a healthy decision about what I think and feel about any number of issues.
This is when I have an opportunity to grow, to mature…
Isn’t that what it’s all about?
Thank you Lord for giving me opportunities to grow. I trust that you will and are leading me in paths of righteousness for your name’s sake.