Hope. But hope well, fixed in this conviction,
Fixed within the grasp that cannot falter.
Grasp the truth, this holy benediction:
Holy hope will meet you at the altar.
Have you ever caught yourself arguing a point not because you believed it but because you wanted to win a debate?
Someone recently asked me to consider the topic of truth. Is truth subjective, different for every individual? Is truth objective, unaffected by our agreement or disagreement with it? Does truth lie somewhere between the two points, possessing both subjective and objective qualities? As I considered my friend’s question, one thought took precedence in my mind: I think we often confuse opinion with truth.
Conflict among Christians can terrify me.
Little children, keep yourselves from idols,
Works of our own hands. Voices–our voices–
Call us to cast off all righteous bridles,
Chastise us for limiting our choices.
Choose you then this day your lord, your master.
Choose the voice you trust above all others.
Choose the path to life, avoid disaster.
Heed the voice of reason, sisters, brothers.
Learn distrust of self, for self is often
Led astray by varied vices. Passions
Harden hearts to truth. Consciences soften,
Filled with fleshly fears and fleeting fashions.
Build upon the only sure foundation.
Idols only lead you to starvation.
People enjoy fighting. Continue reading
Love displayed in life laid down for others.
Joy surpassing all this earth can offer.
Peace before both enemies and brothers.
Patience with the doubter and the scoffer.
Kindness to all creatures in creation.
Goodness shining brightly through corruption.
Faithfulness becomes our firm foundation.
Gentleness endures despite disruption.
Self-control o’er all the flesh’s passion.
Self-deni’l, a daily crucifixion.
Faith e’er growing more in holy fashion.
Truth proclaimed with notes of heaven’s diction.
Spirit, lead our walking, guide our living.
Let the world see you in our thanksgiving.
The flesh is weak, and thus the flesh is strong.
Its eyes, created to behold the light,
Look to be filled by shadows in the night.
Its lips attempt to sing a lesser song,
Changing its subject to subjects. Its hands
Fight to feel control. Its nose calls rotten
All fragrance of the only begotten.
Its mind feigns thought yet never understands.
Strange is its weakness, stranger still its strength,
For, though inferior to its design,
The flesh oft captivates the soul of man,
Distracting all the senses for the length
Of life, lest spirit somehow glimpse a sign
That life was purposed for a higher plan.
Ne’er underestimate the danger here.
Long as you live, the enemy is near.
When I read that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9), I often focus on the “desperately sick” aspect, recognizing the darkness of the human heart. But I don’t always consider the rest of the verse. Jeremiah also writes that the heart is deceitful above all things, asking, “Who can understand it?” The heart defies understanding by men. We do not know ourselves like we think we do. Thankfully, as Jeremiah shows, God searches the hearts and tests the minds of men, knowing us better than we know ourselves (Jeremiah 17:10).