It amazes me of what our minds can convince us of. I was at a dinner last night and they served macaroni salad. When I put it in my mouth, my body’s first reaction was, bleh! But that was only because what my eyes and my mind had decided was macaroni salad, was really macaroni and cheese. My eyes told my mind that they saw macaroni salad, my mind told my body, get ready for macaroni salad and when my body got macaroni and cheese, it was like, WHAT???? But I have to say, the macaroni and cheese was actually quite good after the initial shock to my body.
My mind has had to make a few adjustments over the past few months. Since I home school, I have used the last few holiday’s to have my 9th grader learn about the meanings and history behind them. Well, come to find out, what we thought and what we have been lead to believe all these years is way off. Take Christmas, the whole Christmas story that is played out in churches, the manager scene, and the singing angels … not true. Not anywhere in the Bible. There are truths mixed in, but most of it is just wrong. You know that in reality Jesus wasn’t even born in December, it was more like in the spring time?? Or how about St. Patrick’s day, it was just celebrated last week. We found out that St. Patrick wasn’t Irish, wasn’t a saint, and wasn’t even named Patrick just to start with and that he was a good Christian man that would be appalled by most of the activities typical on St. Patrick’s day!!
So what other things have you convinced yourself or allowed other’s to convince yourself of? You know, one thing that really struck me about all these things is how over time, anything can become right. If we allow ourselves to do something over and over and over again, eventually we can begin to believe that what we are doing is the truth, when in reality it is really nothing but a lie. Right becomes wrong.
Now this next part is definitely not a Biblical truth, it is just me thinking. As I was thinking about some of this stuff, it occurred to me that maybe God had to establish a New Covenant with His people because they had done the same thing. I know, you’re going Huh?? Think about this for a minute. In the Old Testament, people lived by THE LAW (said in a very deep, echoing voice). Yeah, you know exactly what I’m talking about, the 10 Commandments. Even non-Christians can name a few of them.
Ok, so here I am living by the law and I know that I can’t murder that jerk that just whatever-ed me. So after time, we the people figure out that we don’t have to actually kill a man dead in order to kill him. You see, we can just tell a thing or two about him that we know he doesn’t want anyone else to know and over time, his reputation will be killed. Yeah, that’s the ticket, I haven’t broken any of the commandments. No stealing, no lying, no false witness (after all I would be telling truths just ones he was hiding). Under the New Covenant, we might call this slander, backbiting or gossip.
Wow! What a hottie my neighbor’s wife is, oh, oh, no – got to watch where I go with that one. I know I can’t commit adultery, and got to watch-out for coveting. But you know, I could just spend time working next to her in the field and talking to her in the market place. We could probably even have a dinner or two together, just as long was we don’t do that thang, we be okay. After all, with out that thang, it isn’t really technically adultery anyway, right? After all, it will keep me from falling into the coveting category. Under the New Covenant, this IS called adultery, but I think the mind game calls it pornography.
How about this one, I’d really like to have nice new vessel like my neighbor has, oh, but I can’t covet it and I can’t steal it and I can’t afford it. But, if I borrow it for an extended time, after a while they will forget about it and it will be mine. They might ask for it back, but if I put them off long enough, they’ll give up eventually. Yeah, bada bing bada bo, I got one new. Under the New Covenant, we might call this, well, I’m not sure, but we all know we’ve taken a thing or two from our work places or done this to our neighbor. And we all know we wouldn’t like it done to us.
Oh, how good we can be at doing this. Stop and think about what you did yesterday, did you find yourself in any grey areas? Don’t think so? Good for you, but you better double-check, maybe your mind told you that it was macaroni salad but it was really macaroni and cheese. Maybe you better just take another taste of some of the things you did. I’m not saying that we all do this all the time, but I think we are all guilty of it some of the time.
During the message this week in my church, Pastor Jennifer (awesome woman of God) said that if someone shot her in the arm it would be less traumatic than if someone told her she wasn’t a preacher or couldn’t preach. Think about that for a minute. We all know that what she said is true. We seem to have put a sliding scale on wrong. Wrong is wrong. We all know that if we saw someone was shot in the arm there would be an APB put out on the person, they would be hunted down, and put in jail until trial. When the trial came, if we had seen the shooting we would all be standing behind the victim ready to witness, ready to testify against the shooter. We would feel totally okay with the shooter being put in jail. Right? We all know it was wrong for the shooter to shoot the victim, wrong is wrong man. We don’t even really need any ordinance or law to tell us that. We don’t need the Bible to tell us that. We don’t need anyone to tell us that shooting someone is wrong. It’s a done deal.
Now, what about the other thing? Huh, what other thing? What about the person telling her she couldn’t preach? How come they aren’t put in jail? Oh, well, that’s different. You know, that shooter could have killed her, he could have taken her life. She could be dead right now. That other person, well, she’ll be able to get over that, she just has to. I ask you now, Why? Why is it up to the victim to just get over it? We all know it’s wrong don’t we? No? You don’t think it’s wrong? What if it was done to you? What if it was something more personal? Once again, we really don’t need a law or an ordinance to tell us it is wrong and hurtful. We really don’t need the Bible to tell us that either. But we seem to be lax in what we do about it. If you witnessed the situation, would you stand up and testify against the person? Would you stand up and defend the victim? What would you do? The shame of the whole thing is, we all know that we would let that word shooter get away wouldn’t we? Why? I personally might because I wouldn’t want to cause a scene. I might not want to stick my nose in where it didn’t belong. I might not want the other person getting mad at me.
For me personally, it’s easier to jump in and stand strong against a real shooter, after all, they have already caused a scene, they kind of forced my nose into the situation, and I am AFRAID of them getting mad at me so I need to get them off the street. But the word shooter – we’ll, we all know that sticks and stones may break by my bones, but words will never hurt me. Funny how our mind convinces us that wrong is right, isn’t it?
This whole matter of wrong becoming right must have been a real big thing even in Biblical times because the Bible is full of stuff telling us to be careful that we don’t fall into this mind trap. We just have to start running things through a new filter. Just like when I tasted the “macaroni salad” and the truth was revealed that it was actually macaroni and cheese. All it took to get to the truth, was a different filter. Let me suggest two new filters to use.
James 4:17 – So any person who knows what is right to do but does not do it, to him it is sin.
Oh yeah, you read that right. So if you know something is wrong and you don’t do something about it, you sin. If you know what is right and you don’t do it, you sin. Doesn’t matter if you can find a scripture in the Bible or not, if YOU KNOW it is right, and you don’t do it, you sin. Look, you could take and apply this to simple everyday things. It’s an easy verse to use, it is not complicated. Don’t try to twist it to make it right because it is still going to be wrong. You will still know it’s wrong somewhere inside of you. You don’t have to have a law or ordinance to tell you. You will know. It’s maybe hard to do sometimes, but it doesn’t make the wrong a right. If this filter seems to be one that your mind struggles with, try on the next one.
Matthew 22:34-40 – Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:”Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
If it isn’t loving God, it isn’t right. If it isn’t loving people, it isn’t right. No excuses. Ah, but I don’t know how to love. Baloney! I’m sure you know what hurts you and what doesn’t. You know what you want others to treat you like. You know that you know. See, read it again, it doesn’t just say, love people, it says, “as yourself.” Thus closing up your loop hole. If it would hurt you, it will hurt them. If it isn’t right, it isn’t right.
Don’t keep eating the macaroni and cheese thinking it’s macaroni salad, it will never taste right that way and you aren’t going to enjoy it.