Contemporary Considerations presented by Rev. E. Anderson

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Rev. E. Anderson

Snatching The Situation From God
by Jon Walker

“Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the Word of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:2a, NIV)

It’s easy to look at this verse and assume Paul is talking about the sinful behavior that occurs before we become Christians. That is, we announce our dependence upon Jesus and we renounce the sinful methods we use to make it through each day.

Yet Paul is actually referring to the sinful behavior of a group of Christians who are slandering him while also manipulating other Christians. Instead of slinging mud, Paul, our prefect in the school of Christ , ignores their specific attacks and instead directs us heavenward.

In effect, he says, we once used these same methods to get our own way, but now that we follow Christ, we depend upon him to carry us through the day. We no longer depend upon our own strength, and we no longer depend upon secrecy, deception, or self-righteousness to get our own way.

It seems it always comes back to dependence on Jesus, doesn’t it?

Paul, ever the exhorter, pushes us toward the ideal, but his standards are never imperative, “ought to” statements demanding perfection from us. He, perhaps more than any other student in the school of Christ , understands our desperate need for God’s grace. We can’t; God can.

 And because we trust, God can.#

This means we …     · No longer do things in secret – Paul says we’ve agreed to no longer do the things that bring shame, the things we’d never do if we knew they’d be broadcast on the JumboTron in New York City ’s Times Square . But before we toss this off as a lesson meant for sinners worse than us, think of it in terms of the masks we wear – the attitudes we keep buried deep inside, the actions we take when no one else is looking. Could it be we cling to these hidden things because we don’t, yet, fully trust God?     · No longer lie and manipulate – As Christ-followers, we strive toward transparent lives, where “what you see is what you get.” We abandon the use of lies or manipulation in order to get our way, in order to “give God a little bit of help.”      · No longer use God’s Word for self-serving purposes – For instance, the Bible teaches us to speak the truth in love, with the purpose of growing in oneness with Christ. (Ephesians 4:15) Yet it’s not uncommon, when faced with a conflict, for us to use just a fraction of the verse to excuse our ill-mannered or unloving behavior. We say we’re simply speaking the truth, ignoring the hard work of confronting in a loving manner.

What does this mean?     · Focus on the power of God – Don’t focus on where you’ve failed; there is no condemnation in Christ. Rather, focus on God’s strength to transform you in these areas as you place your faith in him; quit focusing on your ability to make things work.     · Ask God to open your eyes – Ask God to reveal any areas in your life where you resort to forms of secrecy, manipulation, or misusing God’s Word.     · Ask God to guide you – Tell God you want to fully renounce these ways and that you need him to help you trust his ways over your own. “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.”

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