Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Right Path

Today's reflection on the Daily Texts:

All deeds are right in the sight of the doer, but the Lord weighs the heart. - Proverbs 21:2

"All things are lawful for me," but not all things are beneficial. "All things are lawful for me," but I will not be dominated by anything. - 1 Corinthians 6:12

Two-year reading texts: Psalm 116:15-19; 1 Samuel 26,27; John 6:1-15

One of the great gifts of Christian faith is simple everyday trust in God. Like all people everywhere, we try to make the best decisions, and yet we're not just striving to live by a certain code or philosophy; we also have God's word, our fellow believers in the church, and God's own Holy Spirit to help us along the way. We wrestle with what's right for ourselves and for others, but we're not left to agonize on our own; we trust that the One who creates, redeems, and sustains the world is also giving us the guidance we need to follow the right path.

Today's scriptures remind me of many times in life when I would never have found God's path on my own. Sometimes I'm not paying attention. Sometimes I'm caught up in my own little priorities of the moment, which aren't always in my own best interests in the long run. Sometimes there are factors I can't see yet, and I need to be protected from my own limitations. Sometimes I'm stuck in my own biases and see only what I've trained myself to see from previous experience, and I need to be shaken up and retrained to see things differently. I do trust myself and my decision-making ability most of the time, but I've learned that things unquestionably go better when I submit my choices to God's way of weighing hearts and options. In just the scriptures of this one day, we have King Saul, the psalmist, the twelve apostles, and Paul the great apostle and evangelist, all very capable, powerful people - yet all learning again that they will make poor choices without God's guidance.

I ask today for a heart of gratitude and humility as I recognize how God has guided me so far, and for a faithful spirit that clings close to God as I continue to travel forward. I ask that in times when I've barged down the wrong path and caused pain and problems that there might be forgiveness, and some good and beautiful things that come from what I've damaged. I ask that my words and actions will more and more conform to God's ways, and that I might make a contribution to someone else's ability to see and use and trust God's guidance. I pray for all people entrusted to make the big decisions that affect the lives of others, and ask that they too would learn and follow the ways of God who leads to true righteousness, abundance, and freedom.

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