Hope you're having a praise-filled, peace-filled, joy-filled week! In fact, if your week is filled with those, there isn't much room left for anything else!
It's been an eventful week around here! Well, actually, it's been uneventful.
What I mean is, something happened that I don't remember.
I mean, I remember that something didn't happen.
Yikes! I'm confusing myself! Lemme explain…
I was in this conversation on Tuesday, and I thought of something smart-alecky to say. Actually, it was dumb-alecky. It would have been probably hurtful and stupid in other ways. Normally, that doesn't stop me for a second. I'll just say whatever and than feel cruddy for a while and wish I hadn't. Y'know how you're deciding, "Should I eat this? It will be awesome for a few minutes, but will probably make me feel gross for most of the afternoon…What the heck! Let's go for it!"
And I do. And it does.
But our Lord said what's even worse for feeling polluted and cruddy, isn't what goes in that mouth but what comes out of it! Check this!
"Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them…Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them…" (Matthew 15.11)
Wow. I know that feeling!
Anyhooo, for whatever reason, on this day I stopped just for a second and prayed in my heart, "Lord Jesus, should I say this? What do You say?" Immediately I knew.
And I didn't.
"Hmmm…How does that feel, buddy?”
I don't even remember what we were talking about or what I was fixin' to say. But if I'd have said it, I guarantee I'd remember what it was! And why I still feel cruddy about saying it!
This morning I was reading in Luke, chapter 22 when our Lord was arrested. And, with the soldiers gathered, Peter pulled a sword out and whacked a dude's ear off!
Yow! I hate when that happens!
Jesus said, "He who has an ear, let him hear!" That soldier (John tells us his name was Malchus) still had his ear…but in his hand! He would have struggled to hear about Jesus for more than one reason!
Billy Graham's wife, Ruth once wrote a poem about him.
"I knew a Malchus once.
Severely wounded by Peter's sword;
Crazed by anger, dazed by pain,
He thrust aside with awful pride
That Gentle Hand whose touch alone
Could make him whole again."
One thing, tho’…
This morning I was reading over there in Luke 22 and I noticed something. Just before the blade flashed and his ear splashed, the guys yelled, "Lord, should we strike with our swords?”
What?! They asked?!
"Wait for the answer, Pete!!"
"But one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear."
Way t' go.
If he'd waited and listened, he would have heard, "None of this!"
Instead he heard, "No more of this!" (Luke 22.51)
Instead of, "Don't do it!", he heard, "Don't do it anymore!"
The difference? A couple of seconds and an ear, bloody-side down in the dirt.
Y'know how many of the Gospels in the New Testament tell the tale of the bloody ear? All four of 'em! And if Peter had waited just a few seconds more, it would have been told in…none of them!
I guess, when it's all said and done (or, all NOT said, and NOT done!), my favorite quote of the week was the one I didn't say!
And some of my best memories of the week are the things that I don't remember because they didn't happen!
I'm gonna try to make that happen more!