Love amid imperfection

Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Ex 20:12

How and why do we honor our parents? What if you feel there isn’t much to honor, does this command still apply?

I love questions. As I have been thinking about this commandment and these questions, the political atmosphere of this country seems to keep coming into the conversation, and maybe there is a legitimate reason.

Sure, this commandment is talking about honoring our parents — being respectful and revering their wisdom and value. But aren’t Judge Kavenaugh, Christine Blasey Ford,  and all the Senators moms and dads? Have they all made mistakes. Yes. Do they still deserve to be honored by their children? Or is what we are seeing and hearing a license for their children not to honor them? Think about it for a minute.

Honoring our Father and Mother is about respect, decency, patience, forgiveness, kindness, and love even when someone may not humanly deserve it. It’s about looking for and seeing the good and and focusing on that rather than on all the mistakes. Its about respecting the office, understanding the challenges of that office, and forgiving what’s not right in the office. It’s about putting ourselves in the other person’s shoes. It’s about love — love amid imperfection.

I cannot think of something needed more in the political atmosphere today. Actually, I cannot think of something needed more in the world today.

This is not to advocate putting one’s head in the sand. No. We need to be alert, see what’s not right, and strive to correct it in ourselves and then to help each other. But we need to forgive and continue to respect and love one another. We would want forgiveness if we misstepped, and we would need that love to keep going and to make meaningful change.

 

Who Made Sunday So Special?!

Sunday“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy”

Why is Sunday the Sabbath? Sure, the Bible says: “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord…” (Ex. 20:9,10). What if you start your work on Saturday? Then, Friday would be the Sabbath. Thoughts like this got me thinking that perhaps the Bible is alluding to something actually much more profound, meaningful, and practical. Let’s take a look:

The sabbath day is woven in the creation story into the first chapter of Genesis. After God finished His work on the sixth day the Bible records something very important. God sees everything He did, and it is very good (See Gen 1:31). The seventh day is where God rests, blesses and hallows this important day (See Gen 2:2,3 and See Ex 20:11).

I had an experience as I was thinking about this commandment. I was praying for a few days about a particular problem. This prayer was like an insistent, but humble, protest for truth. I stood fast, felt God’s presence, and was persistent. There was progress, but a complete resolution hadn’t occurred. Then, I remembered on the sixth day God saw all that he created, and behold it was good (see Gen 1:31). That’s the reason he could rest on the seventh day–He saw what He created as perfectly good. Nothing needed to be added, nor anything deleted.

At that point, my prayer changed. It became a simple prayer of genuine gratitude — seeing what God created and beholding how precious and how good it really is. Then, I was able to rest. I felt peace. I was content. I went and played with my kids. 😀

The next day was a definite sabbath moment for me. Everything was resolved. Good was restored. It was a new day, a truly blessed and hallowed day. The prayer had an absolute effect. I remembered my prayerful work, and the time I spend beholding the good that God had made with gratitude. I relished in this wonderful experience almost all day.

Remembering the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, means something much more than a Sunday celebration to me now. It’s the moments of genuine gratitude that keep the work we do framed entirely on God. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts” (Zech. 4:6).

This activity of gratitude keeps the work we do holy, and brings complete healing that’s fixed and unshakable.

I would love to read your thoughts on this commandment. Feel free to comment below, or to send a private message.


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Honest Faithfulness

“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” ~Ex 20:7

This one is particularly close to my heart because I recently realized how this particular Commandment should be tightly intertwined with everything I do.

Using the word “God” with proper respect, reverence, and honor is important. However, as they say, actions always speak louder than words. Okay then, what is taking the name of God in vain all about when we are talking about behavior?

The original Hebrew word translated as “take” has many other interesting meanings. Here are a few that caught my eye: “bear, bring forth, fetch, hold up, wear, yield.” And the original word translated as “name” also has these meanings “nature, character, or authority of”

So this Commandment could be written like this: We must hold up the character and authority of God with integrity. There is nothing worse than a car without an engine, a flower without any buds, a sunrise without the sun, prayer without an effect, and men and women of Faith without true faithfulness.

This commandment is all about honest faithfulness, and I hope you will join me in pausing to contemplate how to raise this standard in our lives. Thank you so much for taking the time to read.


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