Lesson 6 -- third quarter 1998
July 12, 1998
© Copyright 1998, Christian Light Publications
Complete trust in God sacrifices my own understanding on the altar of faith. We shall not deny that at times such a sacrifice seems foolhardy and naive. But when the sacrifice has been consumed and the hidden truth revealed, we make the blessed discovery that giving up our own understanding was no loss at all. Those who choose God's ways, mysterious though they may seem, never lose understanding, but rather enhance it with the discovery of truth and wisdom previously unperceived. Let's make sure our leaning post will hold us up!
Today's lesson text presents us with various ways in which our own natural understanding would challenge God's. Let's look and then purpose to trust in Him unreservedly and acknowledge Him without qualification.
The priority of parental law. At certain stages of personal development we all go through serious doubts about the rules of our parents (or others in authority over us, including God). Remembering them all scores low on our priority list, or falls off altogether. Keeping those rules seems of suspect value. Let's not lean on our own understanding.
The desirability of mercy and truth. As individual units of value, mercy and truth don't always get high rates of exchange in the currency market of our lives. We can't see why we should be so attached to them. We forego putting them on the template around which we trace our thoughts, actions, values, words and attitudes. At times we ditch one for the other instead of keeping them both bound around a common neck. In other words, in our pursuit of mercy we may abandon truth...or vice versa. Let's not lean on our own understanding.
Depart from evil. All evil, not just some evil; little evil, not just "big" evil; fun evil, not just dumb evil. And on and on. Isn't it amazing how we categorize evil?! Sometimes we would rather excuse doing or thinking or saying or looking at evil...if it is small or if we do it only once or if we do it just a wee little bit. We would like to get by with protesting, "Well, what's wrong with it, anyway?!" That question should instead be applied to not doing what is wrong or questionable! Think about it...and let's not lean on our own understanding.
God first. We like our "God first" theology, but our practice falters at times. I mean, whoever heard of giving up our material substance? You know, the stuff we need for survival? The whole concept of giving God the first portion...before we even know if we'll get any other portion...seems reckless! Let's not lean on our own understanding.
A premium on discipline. Getting "straightened out" is a real drag, right? Correction is one of those necessary evils, not? But to see any form of discipline as the product of being loved and delighted in just really stretches matters for the flesh. So it's time to not lean on our own understanding.
A bounty on wisdom. Yeah, wisdom is a good thing, even a great thing. But to value it above silver, gold, precious stones and anything else I might want.... Give me a break! We may respond with incredulity at such a value system...when we lean on our own understanding.
Just how good is my understanding compared to yours? That's an unwise question. How good is our understanding compared to God's? Now there you have an enlightening question. Always ask it!
Return to Sunday School Comments index