“Sing to Him, sing praise to Him; tell of all His wonderful acts.
Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.”
(1 Chronicles 16:9-10, NIV)
“A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his words.”
(Proverbs 12:14a, NAS)
To affirm people is from a heart of glorifying God.
It’s not nourishing pride with empty flattering, but it is putting the sincere appreciation into words to recognize a soul which is made in God’s image.
If you ask God for a mouth which speaks truth in love, you will find yourself speaking compliments and encouragement to people more than criticizing and putting down.
Therefore, the first step of glorifying God as the Creator of all human kinds is to humbling yourself and ask God’s wisdom and love for words to affirm people around you.
Up and down.
When the politicians talk about right or left, we forget about the up and down. Up is the God, and down are the humans.
When God creates us, He put Himself in our heart: our greatest longing is to be accepted by God. Our greatest fear is to be rejected by God.
That’s why Adam and Eve hid themselves behind the bush and covered their naked body with leaves, for they feared their rebellion was not accepted by God.
What is sin?
It is that this God we ought to long and fear is replaced by other idols: longing to be accepted by other people and fearing rejected by other people.
Other people, including self, become our center.
The Fall of humans brings the tragedy: there’s no God in our hearts. That is the sin we have by rejecting and forgetting all about God.
What does sin cause?
Our sin is deadly causing our shame and guilt.
We look for remedy by going to idols: religions, philosophy, fame, money, lust, drug, all kinds of desires which never quench our guilt.
Sooner or later, that unquenchable guilt ignites the fire of anger, either blowing to others or self.
We could run away from another person, from a relationship, from the society, even from our lives.
But the guilt follows us, for it’s in the self.
We could meditate on religious words and try to empty ourselves.
But the ego is still in the self because that’s the subject who meditates.
Pause and Pray
If you pause and pray to God, you may hear His gentle voice: “Who are you?”
Are you the one who cheats on yourself and others by being someone else, just like Jacob cheated his father, Isaac, to get the blessing for his older brother Esau?
Are you trying to run for your life and not confessing your sorry to the people you offended, just like Jacob to Esau?
God is pursuing you.
God is pursuing you.
God is coming down to meet you in the wilderness, through the ladder of the cross.
God says to you: nobody can replace you, for I give you the unique DNA.
Falling is not the worst, but staying on the ground.
So, getting up quickly, not bowing down in shame anymore,
To look up to the God, who lifts up your face and gets you up with His strength.
God sent Jesus to come to the world and wants to assure you:
Your shame and guilt have been completely dealt with through Jesus on the cross.
No shame. No guilt. Only love is lavished on you by this God of love.
Come to God. Just pray with simple faith. And He promises to come near to your heart.
Don’t lose your heart, for God’s Holy Spirit living right there with you.