Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Jacob 6:12-13 -- On Wisdom and Perspective

"O be wise; what can I say more?
Finally, I bid you farewell, until I shall meet you before the pleasing bar of God, which bar striketh the wicked with awful dread and fear. Amen."
Jacob 6:12-13

I like how Jacob here gives his last piece of advice, wondering what else he can say, but then he does think of something.  His advice to us, to be wise, is extremely good advice.  If we try to do the wise thing, we usually end up making a good choice, and even more so if we have the spirit with us to guide us.  Our problems usually come when we think we can do something unwise and still be okay, or we try to talk ourselves into believing that unwise doesn't really equal stupid in this instance.

The thing that I found compelling about this last verse is that the judgment bar of God is both pleasing and dread-producing, depending on who is standing there.  Judgment can be pleasing if we are restored to goodness and love, and relieved of suffering.  And it can be scary if we're going to be restored to evil and lose our temporary satisfaction in an addiction or earthly reward that we can't take with us.

And isn't that the way of things in so many other instances as well?  We can take the same opportunities and events in life and look at them with joy or dread, depending on our perspective.  In a way, the gospel is all about gaining a touch of God's perspective, and seeing the truth of the joy and goodness all around us, after being blinded by sin and only seeing darkness.

Today, let's work at gaining perspective, and seeing the good in the world around us.  Let's be wise, not only in seeing better, but in making wiser choices, in concert with God, so that when we do get to the bar of God, it will be pleasing from our perspective rather than scary.

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