Being Held Accountable
Post # 977
“When we are really honest with ourselves we must admit our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines the kind of men we are.”
The throwback “Thought” I am sharing today was motivated by something I read that was written by someone else. Now the message they shared was to challenge us to first learn and understand all we can about faith before we attempt to undertake teaching others about it. And I agree that we must have more than a rudimentary understanding of the subject we are trying to convey before we begin our instruction to others. However, if we wait for the time when we can conceivably be considered a Biblical scholar, we may never gather up the courage to begin this mission in the first place.
There are but a few people that I know personally, who have the kind of knowledge of the events of God’s history, where I would never seek to challenge anything they might share. But I must admit to you that I am not one of them! Days, dates and times will always be a bit beyond my capacity to convey with absolute certainty. However, I do try to research all I can, so that I am confident that what I am sharing is factually correct and so that my interpretations are reasonable….which is what led me to share the following “Thought” from 2012.
Thought For The Day 03/09/12
I saw a blog the other day that has managed to somehow become so fixed in my head that I just knew I needed to think about and address the issue myself. Now the particular post I saw focuses on the fact that if we are hoping to motivate and inspire others with the message we are seeking to share, we must first dissect, evaluate and understand all of the things that serve to motivate and inspire our own actions and behaviors!
Now with that in mind, I can’t help but think about the power of the written and spoken word as a means by which many, many are influenced and guided to come to a conclusion that they might not otherwise be inclined to reach. Case in point, the controversy that just will not die! I am referring to the recent rantings of a political pundit whose choice of words has caused an uproar in our country and has threatened to dismantle his successful career as a broadcaster.
Now I am one who once prided myself on being an advocate for the saying “I may not agree with what you say but I will defend your right to say it”. And yet there is something that I have learned over the last year since re-discovering my faith. There is a line that should not be crossed by people whose opinions are followed and apt to be used to justify amending a personal stand. And that is something my mother taught me from the time I was a little girl. “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything”!
Yes, we must share a message of growth and positives. And yes, that may mean that we enter a controversial arena on occasion for which we discuss the pros and cons of whatever it is we are examining, in an attempt to challenge a person’s current line of thought about the subject at hand. It is actually important that we do so! But when it comes to besmirching the character of an individual or group of individuals who choose to take a different stand than the one we hold…..well that is where we need to stop and think about our next move.
We want to nurture and support and mold the mind to consider what it is we are trying to convey. And the power that those who preach openly, or who write or broadcast on any form of media, is subject to intense scrutiny….whether we know it or not. And for those people who are the voice of faith, we have an added responsibility first and foremost, of sharing God’s message to those not yet touched by its very kiss.
We also have the responsibility of being true to our own personal convictions of faith as we understand them to exist in our lives and to make sure that we can back up what it is we say by His truths. We have the responsibility to look at the challenges that come our way and to try to respond in a way that supports our own stand. But, BUT….. even when we can not change the course of the thoughts of another, we must embrace and love and, if necessary, forgive them for the ideals they choose to embrace. We do not judge nor are we a jury. That job rests with another more suited to meting out the final judgement on the life of a person!
Perhaps looking at the life of Jezebel might reinforce this message. Her life occurred after the Israelites settled in the Promised Land. However, we know that the chosen people continued to stray from the laws given to them by God’s hand. In fact, they continue to sin time and time again…. in many ways. And so it is natural that those writing God’s word would choose a woman such as Jezebel, the royal daughter of a culture who worshiped idols and Baal, to be the power responsible for undermining her husband and contaminating the purity of those of the Hebrew faith who would choose to worship a single God….the Lord of Hosts! But I ask you to think about something. Nowhere do we see Ahab being held accountable in his own right, for his personal actions which led him to stray from God’s path.
Was Ahab the weak-minded victim, continually taunted and chastised by his wife? Since we do not have any other evidence to tell us more about Jezebel, it must be this text that we use to help us form the opinion with which we view her role. Is this the correct characterization of Jezebel? Well we are told that those who authored the books of the Bible were writing the inspired word of the Almighty Father himself. However, were they always true to this in their writings? Was she evil and did she try to completely stamp out every trace of worship to God? Or was she merely one woman who chose to live her life on her own terms?
“Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD more than all who were before him. It came about, as though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he married Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and went to serve Baal and worshiped him. So he erected an altar for Baal in the house of Baal which he built in Samaria. Ahab also made an Asherah pole and did more to arouse the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than did all the kings of Israel before him.”
1 Kings 16:30-33 NIV
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