A group of my friends have been studying the godly wife (Proverbs 31:10-31) and wisdom. We looked at several scriptures which increased my desire for good things & deepened my hunger for the Word.
James 1:19-26, on Hearing and Doing the Word:
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
There is an unmistakable goodness about godly people that is very attractive. 1 John 3:3 says that everyone who hopes in the Father purifies himself as he is pure.
How heartbreaking is it then that 2 Timothy 4:3-5 says:
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
My atheist friends like to tell me that Christianity is a cruel religion because it imposes guilt on others. I also meet people who seem largely motivated by a desire to escape guilt or to atone for it.
My discoveries of Christianity in the past few years have simply been that of love, love for what is good and true. Sometimes I laugh, because parallel to that, my discovery of life has been of increasing complexity, distress and difficulty! So it is amazing to find that God provides the deep joy.
Sometimes life is perplexing – and it is a comfort to hear from older wiser people that they too get perplexed and sometimes only find out in hindsight that their decisions weren’t sound. It is such a joy to receive the wisdom, fathering & mothering of others.
Through it all – God’s word is a solid foundation. Love is a deep motivator and energiser.
Often I pray that my friends will come to know and love this great treasure. Seeing people take steps forward… there is simply no greater joy. 🙂