Thursday, May 25, 2006

Greed; obedience

Incline my heart to thy testimonies
and not to dishonest gain
Psalm 119.36

I'd like to think I'm not greedy, and in fact there's not much I want. Well... there's a Sara Groves song, "All I need". It starts out with a couple newly married, maybe they can buy a garbage can next month. Then pretty soon, "all I need" is your next bonus for a walrus carved from driftwood, custom-made cabinets for the home theater system....

Greed somehow grows on me. Not that I don't feed it.

But what do I meditate on? Do I think about God's testimonies all day long, like the psalmist? "O how I love thy law; it is my meditation all the day." Yeah, sure. I don't even meditate on the gospels or the psalms; this guy meditated on... Leviticus! And not because he had to -- because he liked to!

Here's something else I read this morning:

He who has my commandments and keeps them -- he it is that loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.
John 14.21
I don't remember how many years I memorized this verse, but it has probably been a quarter century. The idea here (and it's all over the place, especially in John's gospel) is this: if I want to know Jesus, I have to do what he says. As I do what he says, he shows me more of himself. So it's not "be good in order to meet Jesus" but "now that I've met Jesus, I have to do what he says (or to "be good" in other words) in order to really get close to him.

What am I lacking in my obedience?

I'll tell you.

The other day, the lovely Carol called me at the office. She was in tears, because an unreasonable person chewed her out over the phone, saying that she only thinks about herself, and all kinds of other nonsense. This person thought it was all right to bite my wife's head off (this is not the first time!) but my wife is not ever allowed to answer anything back.

So I have two issues. First, I'm still angry with this person. I can tell because as I think about this incident I can feel my heart pounding in my chest. I know I'm supposed to forgive this person. I am having a real hard time doing it. Now the Bible says, "Consider him who endured suffering at the hands of sinners, that you may not grow weary and lose heart." And I can consider how much my own sinful attitudes have injured the heart of my Lord and Savior.

OK, I'll continue praying about that.

The second issue is this: What to do about it?

More later.

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