For we know that the Torah is of the Spirit; but as for me, I am bound to the old nature, sold to sin as a slave. I don't understand my own behavior - I don't do what I want to do; instead, I do the very thing I hate!
~ Romans 7:14,15
“Mom, Bethany was desperate, so she offered me twenty dollars to help her find her game”, Caleb said as we were driving to his baby sister’s gymnastics class.
“Oh, really?”, I said.
I could tell by the tone in his voice he was about to proudly profess to me that he had indeed chosen God’s best in the matter. He was what we call convinced. And I was ready to give him an attaboy!
“So, whaddya do?”, I said. Primed for his mother’s praise he said, “I told her she only had to give me ten!”
OK, now that is classic! After an inner chuckle, I asked Caleb what he thought Jesus might’ve done in that situation. With much less enthusiasm, he responded, ‘He would’ve probably told her to keep all her money and he’d help her out anyway.’ Together, we had an aha! moment...
I know what you’re thinking, the ol’ WWJD trick! Well, kind of. If we are to have the mind of Christ, shouldn’t we be thinking like Him? Far too often, however, our thinking is like that of the Pharisee of Luke 18:11: “The Pharisee stood and prayed to himself, `O God! I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity -- greedy, dishonest, immoral, or like this tax-collector! You know, the one who unwittingly measures himself against others instead of having Christ as his Standard. How many times have you prided yourself on what you DON’T DO or what you don’t let your children do? It is quite comical that our test of holiness has come to be a list of all that we DO NOT DO instead of WHAT WE (actively and actually) DO. I am guilty of it! And I loathe that in me when the MIRROR OF HIS WORD reveals such hypocrisy!
Here is a saying you can count on: Then Yeshua addressed the crowds and his disciples: "The Torah-teachers and the Pharisees," He said, "sit in the seat of Moses. So whatever they tell you, take care to do it. But don't do what they do, because they talk but don't act!” (Matthew 23:1-3) Legalism is me-centered and ‘shuts the Kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces’. Love, however, is Christ-centered and opens the doors for others to receive the Gospel.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You. Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.