I suppose occasional transparency is in order. I confess i have a little problem with four letter words. Perhaps the spelling of words like S#!* or F#@@ might have made you think i am talking about certain, shall i say, vulgar words? OH MY! How your mind did wander. No, i do not have much trouble with vulgar words– although some sure seem to fit particular scenarios. Scripture tells me in Ephesians 5:4 to use wholesome speech and avoid obscenity, foolish talk, or coarse joking. By God’s grace that has never been too hard for me.
The kind of four letter words that seem to be a snare for me might just also be a problem for others. Up above–S#!* stood for the word “Stay” and F#@@ stands for “Free”. Galatians 5:1 says “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Sometimes in this world it can be very hard to stay free. I doubt i am not the only one who struggles to stay free from old habits that would ensnare me once again. Those habits we have or had are not usually the deeper issue. They are often but crutches we use to help us limp along from some other hurt or weakness far more harmful. Stay free from things like:
1. Negative comparisons to others. Gal 6:4
2. Guilt and remorse over past failure– or loss. Eph 3:13
3. Pollution of the world.. religion… James1:27
Some who are in the “grace camp” might try to make me think that if i truly am in Christ i simply let him do all the work– this talk of struggle work is unscriptural. I have to disagree. There is another four letter word that may be even harder for me than what i revealed above. Gulp–How did i get myself into this confession booth? How about the word ‘obey’? Am i the only one who has difficulty with that? Again– Some would holler out– “Love is all you need”… even in the Christian community. Certainly it is the greatest of all attributes and gifts, as stated throughout the bible and in Corinthians 13…. but Yeshua himself had to go and make “love” something more than some ethereal – to each his own- experience. He stated that if i love him i am to “obey” him. That is an active word in my opinion. It agrees with Scripture that “faith without works is dead”.
Maybe this post has left some of us feeling defeated or discouraged. I will leave you with another four letter word that gives me great hope. The word is rest. We who are born from above– born again in Messiah can REST. Rest from our works to earn salvation.. rest in the power of the Blood.. rest in His great love for us…. Eph 5:6 “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.”