Wow, it has been so long since I’ve even logged on to this site that If I hadn’t had my password automatically saved, I probably wouldn’t have remembered it. How sad is that? But, taking these last two months off, has been a real blessing to me. I think we all need to take a step back away from technology every now and again to re-align our lives and keep things in priority.
Now to what has been on my mind. I have really been taking an interest to the book or Romans lately. Several Pastors that I know (not necessarily personally, but I listen to their sermons) have stated that this is the most important book, at least from a theological stand point, in the entire Bible. When you think about it, the book of Romans literally established the Church we know today. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith‘” (Romans 1:16-17 ESV). This passage of scripture so touched Martin Luther that the Reformation was born. That Reformation started over 500 years ago, still continues to shape and mold the Church of today. And as a side note, if you think you are small and inconsequential, put that out of your mind. Martin Luther was an obscure monk among many others, and God used him to change history.
Ok, enough about history. I was listening to John Piper on my way home last night and again this morning on my way in to work. He was preaching a two part series on Romans 1:18-21. The part that came back to bite me just about an hour ago comes from what Piper said while expounding about how important it is to know exactly how depraved we all are in our thinking. Yes, we might call ourselves a Christ-follower, but all of us know that it is a constant struggle to keep our thoughts in line with what God expects.
Anyway, Piper was talking about how you don’t have to teach a child how to twist the truth to suit their selfish desires. How often have we all seen that. “That’s not fair!” my 6 year old son says when one of his siblings has something he wants. Never mind that they had it first. Usually the next words out of his mouth are, “She’s not sharing.” He doesn’t even stop and take the time to consider that he does the same thing. It’s just that his siblings don’t say much about it when he won’t share.
Washington, D.C. has a class of people who we call “spin-doctors”. It is their job to gage what public opinion is and then craft words or stories to make whatever issue they happen to be working on align with public opinion. We all see it happening and get indignant that these people are that way and try to push their views on us, yet everyone of us are a “spin-doctor”. Not me, some might say. Ok, lets look at that. I’m going to use an example that hits really close to home because I did it this morning and had to repent.
While talking to our Business Process Analyst this morning, we were discussing the work flow involved in hiring a new employee. One of the things I have recently taken over is purchasing cell phones for all of our new hires along with maintaining our current employee’s phones. For some reason (read – spinning the truth), I started down a road that made the person previously responsible look just a bit less than competent and made some of the things I am doing look like earth shattering improvements. The previous person is by no means incompetent! Matter of fact, the more I get to know him, the more I see how competent he is and how I appreciate what he does for the company I work for.
So, long story short, I had to come in to my office and take a hard look at a part of me that I really don’t like. Seriously, I had no good reason to do what I did. It was totally stupid and I had to apologize to God for throwing my co-worker under the bus. But, the harder part is when I send my co-worker the link to this post to ask for his forgiveness for having wronged him. Sure, there is no way he would even know this, but I have this deep conviction that that is what God is requiring of me. I really think that is what God is requiring of all of us. Micah 6:8 says, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?“ Humbleness is in short supply in today’s day and age, and unless we who call on the name of Christ start practicing it, I really don’t think God’s fullness will rest on us.