There Is A Scripture
A brother, companion in this pilgrimage, sent out a link to an article written by Jim Staley entitled “The Flat Earth Test”.
The article isn’t an argument for or against “Flat Earth”. It is a comment on how we should behave towards one another when there is difference in our understandings and interpretations, and what our motives should be for our exchanges with each other.
This last week I called in for an inspection for the work I had done on a small three room grove house renovation. One of them was called a “roof final”. Since every trade involved in the building of a house follows a sequence of events, more than one inspection of each one of those trades is involved before the work done in that particular area is finalized.
So with the roof a sheathing inspection would be required before covering the roof with underlayment, to make sure the plywood was properly oriented and nailed with the required number, size and spacing of nails. That work then can be covered with and underlayment and a final layer of roofing material. Then the completed roof can be inspected and hopefully approved.
The inspector came out and looked at the other items I had done. We discussed them and he was going to leave. I asked about the roof. I had also called for the “roof final”. It was done. He told me that the roof was part of the “final”. The “final” is the inspection everyone is working toward because it signals the approval and end of all the work.
I misunderstood, misinterpreted. The “roof final” meant the final inspection not an individual inspection of the competed roof.
I’ve seen inspectors go off on contractors, talking down to them, talking to them in a demeaning way because of a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of a code requirement and it is ugly. One who is in a position of authority uses that authority and the truth of a rule to beat down one who just didn’t get it right. And there is nothing they can do about it. In addition to the additional work there is the public shaming and embarrassment they have to deal with. And I’ve seen this happen to men who are very knowledgeable and skilled in their trades.
My inspector was no such individual. He was patient, friendly and respectful. There was no hint of condescension or affectation of superiority as he explained the truth of the matter. Particularly there was no offense, or irritation or anger because I didn’t see things his way.
We worked to know the truth of a matter amiably, with a desire just to know what the truth was and in a kind and helpful spirit. There certainly was no spirit of animosity or a breaking of fellowship over it. We will be in contact again and we have a relationship based on common goals and helpfulness on each part to achieve them.
The work is still hard. One must think and plan, inquire and sometimes redo, but in companionship with a spirit of helpfulness not an adversarial one, building relationships, not destroying them.
Which brings us back to the article.
Staley observes the argumentativeness and derogatory and demeaning language that is used online when people disagree in their understanding and interpretation of the current issues and of the Scriptures. He observes that the arguments are engaged in from a self centered point and not from a desire to understand a right way or a truth, in a spirit of love. The agendas are to appear superior, to gratify pride, to profit from a true or perceived higher position of understanding consciously or unconsciously. The agenda is to look good to men and in the process we lose favor with God.
The desire in us should be to pursue and capture and know and use His truth, and to go about it both for ourselves and for the benefit of others with the new nature that is ours in Yeshua. This new nature is characterized by the fruits of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, humility, faithfulness and self control.
Every scenario of life is a test to see if we really do seek the mind of God, if we truly desire and work to be transformed into His image, if we really are in our minds and hearts and actions cultivating the fruits of the Spirit.
The issue is not the issue. The issue is a test. In the end whether or not we pass the inspection will depend on way we conduct ourselves in the test.
Father, form in us a heart that desires to know You and to have knowledge, correct knowledge, of all that is You and comes to us from You.
May this desire be motivated by our love for You, that in knowing more of You we are inspired to greater love of You.
Form in us, Abba, a heart that desires to share the blessing that is ours in You, with those around us, because it is pleasing and right and Your desire that we share good with one another.
Father, form in us a heart and a will to walk mutually helpfully and respectfully and caringly with one another.
May the fire of testing, prove gold in us, Abba…Father.
Father…may this captivate the attention of those who don’t know You and arouse in them a desire and a will for You, they cannot resist.
There is none like You.
In Yeshua’s name we pray,
May God’s love be in us all.