Slow your breathing and become aware of the taking in and letting out of your breath. Focus on putting things aside so you will be open to what God is saying to you today.
Ecclesiastes 7:15-18 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
In my vain life I have seen everything; there are righteous people who perish in their righteousness, and there are wicked people who prolong their life in their evildoing. Do not be too righteous, and do not act too wise; why should you destroy yourself? Do not be too wicked, and do not be a fool; why should you die before your time? It is good that you should take hold of the one, without letting go of the other; for the one who fears God shall succeed with both.
I remember the first time I read these verses. It was a breath of fresh air. As I mentioned in yesterday’s eVotion I went to a Bible College. This can be trying for a new Christian because there are people, students, and faculty that can be hard to deal with because they were just over the top Jesus people, but I never felt warmth from them. You have probably felt this from people in your circles as well. People who are super religious and can not have a conversation without putting in some deep sounding platitudes about Jesus being Lord have always irritated me. It feels very pharisaical. On the flip side, as I have grown older I do not like to be around people who are overtly wicked. People who have disdain for spirituality or believe that the purpose of life is to “eat, drink, and be merry” also irritate me. It seems so shallow.
The sweet spot for me is being around messed up (to varying degrees) people who above all else want to please God. St Augustine is my model for this as he prays for chastity and continency but afraid God might grant his request. I guess that is where most of us are. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. I feel like Paul, the bad I hate, I do, the good that I want to do, seems elusive. Yet we keep trying. May God bless us as we continue in this journey of faith together being authentic toward one another and before God.
Gracious God, thank You for your care and patience with me. In the deepest parts of me I want to be pure, holy, and loving for Your name’s sake. Yet the flesh of me wants to put that off for a little longer. Give me a passionate desire to become more and more like Christ. Amen
Go with God!