Friday, July 19, 2013

Jude 1:16-19

"These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.
But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit."
Jude 1:16-19

This is a great chapter that also has some more positive things to say, but I thought this was instructive, because it is so easy to go astray.  So, today, some things to avoid. :)  Murmuring and complaining kind of go hand in hand.  And I think, unfortunately we do it a lot.  We're all, well if it were up to me, then things would be so much better, blah blah blah... and perhaps, occasionally, that's true.  But even when it is, is that the way to change it, or to love the person who made that decision?  Is that the way to solve the problem, or does it just make things worse?  And, then, when we go a step farther and we start murmuring and complaining about what God does... well, then we've crossed over into insanity pretty much. Instead, maybe what we should do when we encounter those times is admit that our problem is that we just don't understand... and then talk to God about it. :)
The parts about our own lusts and ungodly lusts are also easy traps to fall into.  Whatever we lust after, whether it is physical pleasure, or mental escape, or emotional catharsis, or some non-God spiritual exploration... when we want anything more than God, then it gets in the way of that primary relationship.  We start putting our favorite addiction first, before anything else we care about, and thus let it control us.
Having men's persons in admiration because of advantage... sounds like politics.  Not always professional politics, but the kind that any of us can encounter.  The politics of the workplace, the neighborhood, the school... whatever it is.  There, perhaps we need to take a step back and examine our feelings.  How much of what we're saying or doing is sincere, and how much is just playing the game?  Let's work on caring about people in general, not just because they can do something for us.
Mocking is another thing, kind of like murmuring and complaining, that is easy to do.  And separating ourselves... maybe that is setting ourselves apart like we're somehow cooler, rather than participating in the community.  Trying to say that we know better instead of working with the entire group to improve things as a whole.  I definitely do that sometimes.  Lots of these things.  And sensual.  Funny that is it a positive adjective... people like to buy things that will make them more sensual. :)  But I think at the core, what it means is trusting too much in the senses... caring too much about that sort of tactile pleasure.  So much so that we kind of muffle the spirit, and can't hear it anymore because we are focused on the body.
Today, we still don't have to be perfect all in one breath.  But let's look at these things closely and start working on the ones where we have some weakness.  Let's try to murmur and complain and mock less.  Let's work on not letting sensuality or lust control our lives and block out the spirit.  Let's not treat people kindly just to gain advantage, but develop sincere friendships, even with people who can't do us any huge favors. :)  These are all hard things, but the common theme is that all of these things block out the spirit.  Let's work on listening, and bring the spirit back into our lives.

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