03 January, 2008

Getting Church Right

Prov 21:2
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.

I had to let that sink in a little the other night, before it began to speak to me.

EVERY way of EVERY man IS RIGHT in his own eyes.

Can you compute that? Mitt Romney is right in his own eyes, even though he's passionately defended opposite positions several times in his career. Hilary Clinton is right in her own eyes even though she's never changed her mind on anything.

I'm right in my own eyes. I humbly thought through everything I believed 27 years ago, and was convinced I was right. Since 1981 I have changed positions on 'most every doctrine I affirmed. (Quiz me, I dare you.) And when I sit down and humbly assess myself in 2008, I'm still right on all of them again. Amazing how that happens.

You know what? That's not a sin. That's not pride. That's not a blind spot. That's simple math. If I thought I was wrong about one of them, I'd change my mind about it. From past experience I'd say it'd take me between 1 day and 6 months to change my mind on that thing, but I'd change it and guess what? I'd be right in my own eyes again.

There's no sin in thinking I'm right.

And yet all my rightness could be traded at profit for a plugged nickel. I've been right for 43 years now, and had to abandon settled positions over and again. My current doctrinal positions have learned to wear the crown uneasily.

Fortunately, that doesn't matter. God ponders the hearts. Most versions say He "weighs" the hearts. Whether He ponders or weighs, God doesn't condemn our hearts, and He doesn't count our mistakes in this judgement. God loves right past our ways, and weighs our loves.

We must do the same with ourselves. We must ignore our "rightness" and watch our actions to learn about our hearts. Do we suffer long with brothers? Are we kind? Do we not vaunt ourselves and not seek our own benefit? Do we give and bless and labor for others when it's in our power?

How weighty is our heart?


Milly said...

I need this one. Thank you.

eclexia said...

I was too moved in my spirit to say anything when I first read this one. I still can't say much more than Thanks even now. What a blessing your words have been to me in my own journey these past several weeks.