Did those words just come out of my mouth? Oh yes, they did! And my daughter caught it. The phrase wasn’t foul; it was just wrong. But nobody likes to be corrected, especially by their child, and even more so when they already know their error.
I had just committed one of my own eye-twitching pet peeves (you know, those annoying little things other people do, like putting an empty milk carton back in the fridge or leaving every light in the house on). And it never would’ve happened if I wasn’t complaining… In an angry outburst, directed at a news report, I misused the word “ignorant”. As so often implied, this word does not mean “rude” but, rather, “lack of knowledge or training; uninformed, unaware.” I know this – words are important to me – but isn’t it ironic that, even though incorrect, just by hearing something enough, it becomes ingrained in our thoughts, only to pour out unintentionally? This is why it’s so important to fill our minds with God’s Word, so light and truth pour out instead After all, who is like our heavenly Father?
Just soak in this description found in Isaiah 40:25-31: To whom can the holy God be compared? Is there anyone else like him? Look up at the sky! Who created the stars you see? The one who leads them out like an army, he knows how many there are and calls each one by name! His power is so great- not one of them is ever missing! …why then do you complain that the Lord doesn’t know your troubles or care if you suffer injustice? Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard? The Lord is the everlasting God; he created all the world. He never grows tired or weary. No one understands his thoughts. He strengthens those who are weak and tired. Even those who are young grow weak; young people can fall exhausted. But those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed. They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak.
Wow! “Why then do you complain?” (again, and again, I might add). Funny but not so funny story: I opened my Bible app to begin a scheduled reading and literally groaned out loud to see… Leviticus (and this in front of a different child – caught again!). Mind you, I’d been through a very interesting study on this book in the past, but the laws, sacrifices and repetition found within those pages weigh me down. As they should! It’s heavy stuff. But what an absolutely perfect reminder for man (and woman) of God’s standards of holiness. We can’t measure up! That’s why God put on flesh and came to our rescue. Jesus didn’t do away with all those laws or the need for a blood sacrifice – He fulfilled them!
Speaking of ignorance, one part in particular caught my eye (Leviticus 5:17,19): “If a person sins, and commits any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the Lord, though he does not know it, yet he is guilty and shall bear his iniquity…he has certainly trespassed against the Lord.” Immediately, a line from the well-known (but not as commonly practiced) Lord’s Prayer came to mind, “forgive us our trespasses (debts/sins) as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Two things stood out. First, I’m so thankful God doesn’t forgive “as we” do! And second, we ask forgiveness when we know we messed up but how often do we sin in true ignorance because the Spirit hasn’t revealed that thing to our hearts yet? We reason in our finite minds to figure God out, understand His purposes or justify our behaviors, but who can know the mind of God? Oh, how ignorant we are! His holiness can’t be attained by our flesh. We need to take Him at His Word. No editing. Only the blood of Jesus, our sacrificial Lamb, makes us worthy to be forgiven.
If God had a pet peeve, I think it would be watching sin-infected souls overlook their need of The Physician. I say this because just going to the doctor doesn’t ensure we’ll follow his advice. And that is vital to maintaining spiritual health. Do you complain and resist? If you obey, what’s the motivation? Fear can inspire briefly, but only til the threat has passed. Then it’s back to “I’m fine.” But we’re not. As the song goes, “Every hour I need You”.
May my peeves never grieve the Father. If that’s your heart too, pray with me: Oh, Lord, help me be neither inconsiderate nor uninformed. Search me, try me, lead me! Take all ignorance, anger, pride and let obedience shape my life. Continue teaching me: commitment through Your faithfulness; forgiveness through Your mercy; compassion through my failures; trust through Your goodness; and, love by Your example. In all things, I am confident of this – there is no other like my Daddy, the Almighty, Everlasting God! Thank you for calling me Yours.