Yesterday, the Bible opened to Zechariah, and since I had never read this book before (or, honestly, even knew it existed), I read it all. I was struck by this verse:
These then are the things you must do: Speak the truth to one another; judge with honesty and complete justice in your gates. Let none of you plot evil against another in your heart, nor love a false oath. For all these things I hate—oracle of the LORD.
I was struck not because it was something new, but because it was not new. We hear these same things in the ten commandments and in Jesus’ words to us. And of course, we (or at least I) still struggle to comply. Sometimes it is easy to think, well He doesn’t really mean that or it is ok if I sin because He will forgive me again. And yes, I know God will forgive when we turn to Him, but couldn’t I do a better job actually trying not to sin, actually trying not to do the things that God hates, the things that pull us away from him, the things that essentially thumb our nose at Him. After all, He tells us what we should not do. He tells us what hurts Him. How do we feel when our children, our spouse or our friends do something that they know we do not like or have expressly asked them not to do?
Sometimes it feels like in today’s world, we are quick to ignore the rules that don’t suit us or that don’t match with what we want. The media is filled right now with the immigration issue and whether any punishment should occur when someone illegally crosses the border. What always strikes me about this whole debate is that we get mad when anyone wants to enforce the law. There is no dispute that the immigrants at issue are “illegal”. In other words they have broken our laws. I am not saying I necessarily agree with the law (but the fix is to change the law), but what happened to the idea of following the law? We pick and choose what laws we will follow. How dare anyone tell us what we can and cannot do. How dare anyone tell our children what they can and cannot do. (How many times do we see in the media stories where parents are outraged because a school enforced a rule against their child?) How dare anyone discipline our children when they violate a rule.
Do we display the same attitude to God? How dare God tell us what to do? Oh I hope I do not!
Forgive me! Forgive me for turning away from you, for not listening, for not following your commandments. Forgive me for not always holding love in my heart, for listening to, and spreading, gossip. Forgive me for judging others, for not being honest with myself or others. Forgive me for not trying enough to do better. I want to be a better reflection of you and your love. Help me Lord. I need you.