Spring is in full swing here, which means we have huge puddles and lots of mud everywhere. No matter how many times I tell them, my children just can’t stay clean. They splash in the puddles until they are soaking wet up to the waist. They get mud everywhere. Put them in the sandbox and someone will come in with sand in their hair. (Do you know how hard that is to get out?) Why does this happen? Because they just can’t resist a mess. Unfortunately, when I need to run errands, no one has dry boots or coats. They can’t go anywhere. They can’t do anything. They also fight with each other sometimes. They get frustrated. They yell. They push. They even hit each other. (Oh, my goodness! Yes, my children sometimes hit each other.) They are children that must be taught. I try to explain to them that they are brothers and sisters. When everyone else leaves, they will still have each other. They need to be able to count on each other. They shouldn’t fear a mud missile from the back. I love my children very much, but I do look forward to the day when they choose to jump over the puddle rather than stomp through it.
But, oh how heartbreaking it is when grownup believers behave the same way. Too many times, believers in the God of Israel can be seen muddy up to the waist with sand in their hair. What are you talking about? Well, if mud is nasty comments and stomping in puddles is our way of asserting that we are right about a particular view, I think there’s plenty of filth flying around. Only, we don’t have the guts to walk up to someone and put the sand in their hair. We smear mud on the back of their coat so they can’t defend themselves.
(1Co 13:11) When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
It’s time we put away childish sandbox games and jumping in puddles. We need to leave the mud alone and keep ourselves clean from the filth of the world. It’s as if Satan puts mud in front of us, and we play in it without fail. If we are going to be useful as Children of Israel, we need to be tahor (clean and useful for what we were designed for.) I would venture to guess that our Heavenly father does not appreciate wanting to send us on an important job, only to discover that our boots are sopping wet and our clean white shirt is now smeared with mud, and please don’t forget the sand in the hair. He can’t use us for anything in that state.
It’s not about being right. It’s about being useful in the job we have been given. By the way, I don’t give all my kids the same chores. I give them the one they are best suited for. Stop looking at Johnny who only has to sweep the floor, and wash those dishes to the best of your ability. In Hebrew thought, many ideas can be right at the same time. Ideas are not necessarily exclusive of each other. I’m sure many of you remember seeing Brad Scott teaching about the Hebrew and Greek boxes. The Hebrew box is big and allows room for many ideas. The Greek box is itty bitty and only allows one idea at a time. If you find yourself trying to prove other people wrong, to prove your idea right, then GET A BIGGER BOX!
We are Israel! We are family! We need to be able to count on each other. We need to work together as a team. So please, could we all please have enough grace to step over the puddles and keep ourselves clean and ready for the jobs our Heavenly Father needs us for?
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