“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.” Proverbs 3:7
“Each one should test their own actions.” Galatians 6:4
I have told the story before. A woman was behaving badly while driving … unnecessarily and rudely sounding her horn; angrily shaking her fist; dangerously tailgating and cutting others off; mouthing silent obscenities, berating “the idiots”. Followed and eventually pulled over by an officer, he explained that he saw her bumper sticker which read “Jesus Saves”. Observing her behavior he wondered if the car might be stolen. Actions do speaker than words.
Hmmm … Am I guilty of driving a stolen car? I sport “stickers” boasting the fruits of the Spirit including kindness, gentleness, self-control; yet I rush to beat others to the next spot in line, glare at someone I think is moving too slowly, speak rudely and give a sharp answer. I speak of hospitality and acceptance; yet I critically wonder why others different from myself don’t even try to fit in, or sometimes intentionally avoid them. I go to church, sing in the choir, volunteer so I see myself as more worthy than others who don’t. We confessed last Sunday that God searches us, knows us, and is acquainted with our ways. God knows our innermost thoughts … our motivations (whose the glory?).
We are comforted that God knows our prayers even before words form on our lips, not so our “other” thoughts. Next Wednesday, we will join in step with Jesus on the road to the cross to watch him die … for all our foolishness and failings. They too will die there, pardoned by God’s love and grace.
“God be in my head, And in my understanding; God be in mine eyes, And in my looking; God be in my mouth, And in my speaking; God be in my heart, And in my thinking; God be at mine end, And at my departing..” Amen
(Prayer text: Sir Henry Walford Davies)