Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hold Your Position!

Psalm 112:4

Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man.

In these turbulent times everyone seems to be struggling trying to keep a grip on their lives in this uncertain financial climate. Famine has claimed a corner of the Globe as it darkens the continent of Africa. The middle class in America have become the new poor and new homeless. The prison system has been used to try and make blacks into a permanent underclass as it replaces slavery as the new racial caste system. Thousands of people are still unemployed looking for hope that this economy is finally going to turn around. In the midst of all this darkness there are still points of light that illuminate the hopelessness of this nightmare. It is the light of the upright. God has been keeping us in the midst of it all in spite of our inconsistencies.

The psalmist exclaims that God still illuminates the darkness for the upright. Upright does not imply perfection but position. There are people still in a posture of seeking God and attempting to live right, these represent the upright. Every now and then I attempt to do yoga and there is a position where we do a head stand (or try to). You must engage your core to stand on the crown of your head, supported by your forearms with your feet straight up. Holding this position is challenging. I can do it but I keep falling out of it, but then I get back into it because my teacher says, “be patient and do your best.” I believe that’s what Jesus says to us, he sees us struggling, wobbling, and falling in and out. But he honors our effort knowing that we are saved by grace and not works.

Living Holy is like trying to hold that yoga position. It is counter cultural or counter intuitive to live upright when everyone else’s core values are upside down. It is living upright that God honors our attempt to hold our position. We must engage our core values to stay upright. God takes care of the upright even in dark times there are three core values we should employ to hold our position:

1. Gracious. Grace is unmerited favor shown by God. When God give us grace it is underserved. When we have been recipients of this grace it is only right that we show it. We ought to be gracious in how we show grace to others. Giving keeps the window of heaven open for God to shower us with blessings. When we show grace it keeps grace coming our way.

2. Compassionate. Compassion is when you are moved in your sprit to do something about a situation that troubles you. The world is full of what Marty Neumeier calls, “wicked problems,” problems for which there seems to be no solution but which we should have compassion. Pastor Wayne Lomax of the Fountain church was asked by a Haitian pastor to come to Haiti with his mission team. Pastor Lomax asked him, “What do you need?” He said, “Come and see.”

3. Righteous. Being Righteous is living right. It’s when you delight in the Law of the Lord and you meditate on it day and night. It’s like Spike Lee’s character the ‘Mayor” played by Ossie Davis in the movie, “Do the Right Thing.”

Mayor says to Mookie, “Dr. …..I have to tell you something….Always do the right thing.”

(Mookie) “is that it?!’

(Mayor) “That’s It!”

(Mookie) “I’m Out!”

What the Mayor was telling Mookie is what Jesus is telling us, if you want God to keep you during these hard times always do the right thing, and hold your position. Stay upright.

Dear God,

Help me to do the right thing, to live upright, in a world that is upside down. Thank you for keeping me in these dark times. I pray my character would keep me where my talents take me.

In Jesus Name,

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