For my time alone with God (Quiet Time) I try to use a different translation of the Bible each year. It’s proved to be very meaningful for me. Currently I’m using the Contemporary English Version (CEV). This morning one of the passages I read was Prov. 25:26 – When a good person gives in to the wicked, it’s like dumping garbage in a stream of clear water.
When I was in college, a group of buddies and I went backpacking into Big Bend National Park. It was so dry at that time the rangers were turning most people away, but we managed to get into the park. We planned to pack in a few days then back out. Before we even got halfway into our journey we were running low on water and decided if we didn’t find some, we’d have to cut our trip short. That same day, we crested a peak – looked down in a canyon and saw GREEN trees (the only thing green we’d seen the entire time). Green meant water so we made our way down into the canyon and found a cool natural spring flowing with fresh cold water. IT WAS AWESOME! We made this spot our base camp and did all our exploring from here.
Can you imagine how we would have felt if we got there and someone had dumped a bunch of rotten garbage into the spring. That pollution would have made it worthless and frustrating to us.
As I read Prov. 25:26 this morning – that’s what I thought about and then applied it to my life as a leader/pastor. When I give in to wickedness or sin it pollutes the message of “the river of life” flowing out of me. I may look good or even sound good, but eventually garbage of any kind pollutes the purity I’m supposed to maintain. Even though I fail, I so want to be pure and believe you do too.
So Pastors & Leaders – a few questions for you to consider. Are you falling into the temptation to give in to some form of wickedness (any sin)…..or…..
* Are you pure in the way you handle the message God’s given you to share?
* Are you pure in your relationship with your spouse?
* Are you pure in your thought life?
* Are you pure in the way you handle your finances?
* Are you pure in the way you handle church finances?
* Are you pure in terms of what you set your eyes on?
* Are you pure in speech?
* Are your motives for ministry pure?
* Are your attitudes pure?
* Are you pure in your relationships?
* Are you pure in the way you treat those who serve with you?
* Are you pure in terms of your ego and/or humility?
The list could go on and on, but you get the idea.
I wish I could answer yes to all those questions and more every day, but I still blow it. When I do, I’m thankful for the grace of God which renews & encourages me, provides forgiveness, and gives me the courage to ask others for forgiveness when needed.