Saturday, 23 July 2022

Live such good lives…

We all need honest, confidential conversations where we can share our thoughts and emotions
I’ve had this simple theme in my head for this blog which has been bouncing around over several weeks. I don’t want to complicate the issue, so this blog is going to be short and hopefully to the point. I wonder if you know how the blog title, ‘Live such good lives..’, continues?  It is found in the first letter of Peter.

We read in Psalm 37, Trust in the Lord and do good... We find this combination of ‘faith and action’ exhibited throughout the old testament and new testament. Examples and exhortations speak into our lives thousands of years later. Two weeks ago the blog was based around the letter to Titus. The apostle Paul gave instructions about what Titus should teach to various demographic groups within the church on the island of Crete. The writing is very clear and direct, in contrast to much of what we hear and read about today. Perhaps Paul’s message can be summed up in verse 14 of chapter 3: ‘our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good in order to provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives’.
One particular directive that I wish to highlight is one that is addressed to everyone. Reading from the start of chapter 3: Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no-one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility towards all men. Paul is not saying anything new here. But what he does say is extreme!! Can I ask you, the reader, to reread this directive several times? Just for a moment, focus on the phrase: ‘to slander no-one’. It seems we all have a voice today, whether through social media, phone-in programmes, demonstrations or our personal conversations. Those in positions of authority are often sitting ducks for our scrutiny. Their inconsistencies can be magnified through today’s spectator sport. How do we reconcile our personal conviction (perhaps the voice of our conscience) with this command ‘to slander no-one’?  Can we call someone a hypocrite, or a white-washed wall? 

We are all painfully aware of the tongue being that spark which sets a great fire alight. The tongue, that member of our body that refuses to be tamed! One moment it is a spring of living water, then in the next breath it adds to the general pollution in the world. We all need honest, confidential conversations where we can share our thoughts and emotions. 

Perhaps the first person that we, believers in our Lord Jesus, should all turn to, is the One that our Father has given to all his children. He is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, the Paraclete. I am convicted as I write this, knowing that my emotions flare up with an accompanying vocal outburst. So I am going to end with a short prayer:

Holy Spirit, thank you, as God’s dear child, I can share my raw emotions with you. Amen

Author: Richard Windridge

May God bless and enrich your life

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