Tuesday, December 2, 2014

4 pieces of advice

"These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another, render in your gates judgments that are true & make for peace, do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath; for all these are things that I hate, says the LORD."
(Zechariah 8:16-17)

In the Hebrew Scriptures, God uses the prophets to call the people to account, and to spur them towards right action.  Sometimes (oftentimes?) it's hard to hear those messages.  We humans generally don't gravitate towards being corrected.  Nevertheless, we need it!

Zechariah 8:16-17 is a very simple message of life-correction admonitions:
  • "Speak the truth to one another"... this is more than just "don't lie."  It involves having hard conversations when someone needs to hear the truth.  The challenge, of course, is differentiating truth from mere opinion.  Trust the Holy Spirit to help you discern this.
  • "Render... (true) judgments that make for peace"... Justice.  Honesty.  Righteousness.  Don't show favoritism when making decisions.  And always default on the side of peacemaking.  When in doubt, err towards healing, not provoking.
  • "Don't devise evil... against others"... This should go without saying, but unfortunately we often do evil against one another.  Revenge, vengeance, jealousy, spite, etc.  "Just don't do it!" says God.  Wish for the BEST for everyone.  Even those who've hurt you.
  • "Love no false oath"... Let your words be true.  Always.
Forgive me, O God, when I fall short here... Encourage me along the right paths.  And may I help lead others in these directions, too!

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