Friday, October 28, 2011

#88 Proof Reading

Some people have a gift for writing. Stories, poems, research, or other written articles seem to pour from some people. My wife tells me I am one of those people. I am not sure I agree, but that's beside the point. As a pastor I have to do lots of writing for all sorts of tasks and part of writing is proof reading that which has been written.

One time my family and I were eating lunch together in a local sub shop that has various signs and sayings posted on the walls of their shop. Some of the sayings are funny, some contain life-wisdom, others famous quotes, and believe it or not research. Yes, research. The particular sign that contained research was quoting a study from some university that discovered that the human mind is able to put together what words are supposed to be when we read it based on just the beginning and ending of the word being correct. The sign then contained a body of text with every word misspelled and it was actually quite easy to read it.

Being someone who has to write a lot I was intrigued by the sign and I actually look for that same sign when I visit other locations of the same franchise. So what does this have to do with anything? I am glad you asked. Speaking of being trained to do something, I believe that we also train ourselves to overlook sin in our life. No, it is not always intentional, but if we are really honest with ourselves we have to admit that we sometimes choose to ignore sin and just live life as if everything is alright.

I would also assert to you that just because the brain is able to read words that are misspelled doesn't mean that we should make it a practice to leave misspellings in our documents. Why not do our best since the Bible teaches us to do everything to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31)? Likewise we should not ignore sin in our lives just because it's more convenient to do so. Amen?

Yes, giving up sin requires change and it requires us to live differently. But I can promise you that our loving, Creator God will never ask us to give up or stay away from anything that will prepare us for heaven (Psalm 84:11). His only desire is that we be saved so that we can spend eternity with Him (2 Peter 3:9).

When you read over a document looking for errors it's called proof reading. When we look over our lives seeking to be rid of anything that separates us from God it's called self-examination (2 Cor. 13:5). But unless we bathe the examination process in prayer, our eyes and hearts that are trained to overlook sin may not even see it. That's where prayer and the Holy Spirit come in. If we pray and ask God to speak to our hearts then we are promised that the Holy Spirit will come to us and convict us in all areas of life (John 16:8).

It is my prayer that each of us--including me--will not choose to be blind to sin, but rather may we seek the face of our God while He may yet be found so we can spend eternity with Him. May we all choose to let Jesus "proof read" our lives on a daily basis.

Dear Lord God,
Thank You for Your wonderful mercy, love, and grace. Thank You also that You call us to a higher standard than that which we would set for ourselves. Please forgive us for clinging to sin, and please teach us to trust You completely as You prepare us for heaven. We give You thanks as we pray in Jesus' name, Amen.

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