Wednesday, May 25, 2011
We all live with a confounding disconnect between human actions and the results those actions produce. Predators often prosper while saints suffer. We chalk the injustice up to a fallen world and believe that You will eventually make things right, and in the abstract that works for us. When it comes to our own little world, however, uneven scales, even those You promise to level, do not always consent to wait. When our son is sent home from school for a fight he entered to protect his small friend, or our spouse fired when he stood against an unethical business practice, or our neighbor stolen from by the wastrel she took in, Your promise sometimes pales.
And the inequity tangles even more while we try to understand how we are to act in the face of the world's perversion, other people's failures, and our own sin. In short, when I act according to what You have shown me is right, I want to see results that reinforce my actions. When I work, I want reward, when I love, I want to be loved back. But it just doesn't work that way.
You warn me about this when You emphasize the importance of godly character. You gave a promise without specifying times or places, then offered to stand between me and my disappointments, saying, "Do it for me." You tell me to follow You not because anyone to whom I display love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control will respond with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, or self-control in return, but because You will respond that way. In fact, You already have.
We are not trying to please men, but God, who tests our hearts. --1 Thessalonians 2:4