Building A Fence
Anyone who knows me knows I love one-liners and tend to collect them. It’s an odd habit I admit, but it’s also been a source of growth to me as a Christian. Words tend to stick with me, and teach me more than whole sermons could. Like, “Consider the source, ” whose original source, ironically, is unknown but accredited to multiple famous people. Take today, for instance.
It’s amazing what you can learn in life by accident if you’re not careful. In one morning I discovered that Buddha took credit for God’s words, Confucius took credit for God’s words, and I also saw Steven Furtick’s take on the spirit of offence. God does nothing by accident; I’d like to share with you the reasoning behind that belief.
First, the one-liners. Then, the lesson.
Buddha said, “What we think, we become.” God said, in Proverbs 23 verse 7, As a man thinks in his heart, so IS he (emphasis mine). And God was here first so I figure He originated it.
Confucius said, You cannot open a book without learning something. God told Joshua very clearly, “this book of the Law” should never leave our mouth or our mind (Joshua 1 verse 8). With good reason. David realized reading changes folk, and wrote all about it in Psalm 119 verse 11. But action has to come into play too. As Christians we don’t just read, we read with purpose. Steven Covey encourages us to begin with the end in mind, and there’s a lot of wisdom there. After all, you can learn anything from anyone if you’re teachable.
Now for the lesson. By this point in my day I was highly ticked off that people who didn’t even acknowledge the Creator would not only quote Him but take the credit. I had the opportunity to walk out what I’d learned just hours before; seeing Steven build a fence from wooden planks with each ‘offence’ ran briefly through my mind. After all, as he quite rightly pointed out, “Offence is an event; offended is a decision.” Ouch. Guilty as charged. When we choose offence, it does indeed build a fence. Every time. Not only between us and the other person but also between us and God. I’ve heard this so many times but it took a visual for it to finally sink in. I think I might be Missouri personified – the show-me state. Once you give me a picture I rarely forget the lesson.
So then my random redhead brain started thinking I find I’m with Aristotle – “Those that know do, and those that understand teach”: how does Steven know the spiritual principles he teaches in such depth…? Duh!
Long story short? I decided to forgive Buddha for stealing God’s words. To forgive Confucius for stealing God’s words. To thank God for Mr. Covey, for reminding me where my mind should focus. And I really, really, really appreciate Steven for breaking it down for the slightly more hard-headed among us. Lesson learned. Hopefully permanently.
Your thoughts? K