Updated on January 6, 2014
Chronological Bible: July 7, Flip the vision…
- Jeremiah 22:10-17
- 2 Chronicles 35:20-36:4
Working through the prophets can be such a downer. I find myself thinking of new ways to say the same thing, “avoid destruction.” But here’s the kicker. Avoid this, avoid that kind of teaching only gets you so far. In cooking, we teach kids that the oven is hot, or as my niece would say while pointing at the oven “hhhhhhhhhot.” Avoidance teaching helps protect tiny hands from burning surfaces. But the real learning comes, not in the avoidance, but in realizing how to harness the oven to make oh-so-tasty things.
This metaphor breaks down a little, as we want to avoid sin in order to avoid destruction, and we have NO PLACE thinking that we can use sin for good. Unlike the oven, nothing good comes from sinning. So rather than focusing on the sin, how can we harness what the prophets are saying? Moving beyond avoiding this or that, the prophets also show us what to embrace. Yes, avoid sin to avoid destruction. But in that very lesson is the corollary: embrace righteousness to enjoy the fullness of life God promises.
So today, change your vision. Instead of avoiding this and that, embrace the righteous acts which are opposite. Instead of avoiding gossip, embrace speaking well of others. Instead of avoiding frustration, commit to seeing the funny in the situation. Instead of avoiding laziness, decide three activities to do today that you would not have otherwise done. Positive action is easier to embrace than avoiding negatives. You will find the life of righteousness a lot more enjoyable than a life of avoiding.