Sunday, February 22, 2009

Verse of the week - II Corinthians 4:18

In her bare cell, Corrie Ten Boom sat playing cards with a cellmate. Cards made of the rationed toilet paper. Her father had not allowed card playing and she didn't understand why at first. They seemed an innocent diversion on the long days of absolutely nothing to do.


Corrie realized as time went by that the simple card game effected her mood. Winning brought optimism, losing triggered negativity and fear about the events outside her cell walls. She stopped playing cards.


Made me think. How much do my various recreational involvements alter my perspective? Even deeper still, how much does the comparatively frivolous expenditures of time in this physical world distort my perspective of what truly matters?


This verse came to mind, just a few verses down from last week's verse, "As we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."


Anything in this world, anything that I allow to enter my frame of reference should move me closer to God not further away. I shouldn't see the waves, I should see the Creator of the waves. If some activity brings fear, doubt, anxiety, or other negative emotions, I should move away from them and draw closer to God. In my humanness, even good activities can become a hindrance to my walk with Christ and I must guard against allowing the physical happenings to impact my eternal focus. Cards in and of themselves aren't wrong. But, they can still lead me step by step further from God's viewpoint.


I have begun thinking through the implications of this in my daily choices, in my daily schedule. What physical events do I allow to hinder my spiritual intimacy? God doesn't change, but when I feel weaker or feel as if I am failing, the cause may often come from the physical surroundings that I reinterpret as God's distance in my life.


Then I need to go to the follow-up question, should I remove or at least limit some of these things? I need to evaluate my TV viewing, my computer time, blogging, reading, craft projects, phone conversations, meetings, play dates, even ministry involvements in terms of the eternal, unseen standards. Not all of them are bad, in fact none of them are sinful. But, do they build up, or tear down? Do they make an impact on eternity, or bring a negative taste to my thinking? The physical world will pass away. That which is unseen is forever. People are forever.


Lord, please help me keep my eyes on what only You can help me see.


As we look not to the things that are seen
but to the things that are unseen.
For the things that are seen are transient,
but the things that are unseen are eternal.


~II Corinthians 4:18~

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