Friday, 7 August 2009

English 101

Synonyms are words that mean the same thing but are spelled differently. Following examples are things that do not mean the same thing but we often want to believe they do. (And yes, in example 1 the word is also spelled the same way... if you are staunch about synonyms, please forgive me ;) )

1 - Fear of God and fear of anything else. Often we are "led" by our fears. Fear of failure; fear of rejection; fear of the unknown; fear of pain; fear of being like Ezekiel (a very odd prophet of the Old Testament.) In this case, fear and fear do not mean the same thing. They are opposite roads that don't travel in the same direction. One is the road to easy living; the other to fullness of life. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. Any other kind of fear is not.

2 - Wisdom and Reasoning. These are not always opposites, but it is important to seek the Lord for every new thing. Situations are not cookie-cutter... solutions aren't either. So often it is a pseudo-wisdom that leads away from fearing God and towards wisdom of men reasoning the circumstances. Man's wisdom is paralyzing or distracting. God's wisdom leads us in the way that we should go.

3 - Rest and Sloth. For 2 years now, I know that God has been leading me into a place of physical rest. Sleeping regular hours, limiting commitments, making room for Him in my life. Really teaching me about the consequences of unnecessary busyness. Having often lived in disobedience to this command, let me tell you that rest and sloth are not the same. If you want to know how to pray for me, this is it. I hate wasting time and I am presupposed to wasting time... it is a cyclic battle I fight most days.

4 - Joy and Happiness. The difference was described to me as "Happiness depends on happenings; but joy is what remains when there are no reasons to be happy". At the same time, I believe that God wants us to be happy, because He loves us. But He can give the miracle of joy in an absence of reasons to be happy.

5 - Peace and Complacency. Doubt, guilt, and regret can all survive in a harmonious atmosphere. Peace can survive anywhere.

6 - Hope and Wishing. Hope does not disappoint. Wishing sometimes does. As a dreamer and a visionary, I struggle with this often. I forget to reserve my hope for God alone. I don't know how to balance believing in people but not hoping in them, but think this is something He wants to teach me more about.

7 - Faith and Freedom - Where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is freedom. And that LORD is with us wherever we go. So whether it's a physical place or a circumstance, it's important to have our hearts in a clear conscience towards the God who has given us freedom and is with us wherever we go. This is so very different from using faith as a license to sin, under the auspices of the freedom He has given us. It's not so much the where as it is the heart.

So there's English 101. Pretty basic stuff. Here's praying for fear, wisdom, rest, joy, peace, hope and faith to each of you!

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