Suppose I were to show you a picture—a piece of art I describe as amazing or mind-blowing. You might say, “That’s nice Dan.” Yet, you could easily walk away questioning just why I wassoenthused. But, what if I told you that this piece of art was created on a typewriter by Paul Smith and that Paul, born in 1921, suffered from severe, spastic cerebral palsy which affected his speech, mobility and fine motor skills? What if I added that it took 16 years for him to learn how to speak and 32 years to walk and that as a child he was not taught how to read or write but found a way, beginning at the age of 11, to communicate through a simple typewriter? Now you realize why I find Paul’s art to be incredible and it makes sense to admire something typed by a man who defied the odds to live to the age of 85 and create hundreds of artistic pieces.
John 14:27—Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.
In reading Jesus’ words above to His followers, it is logical to assume from one verse that to follow Jesus should result in peace. Isn’t that what He promised? When troubles come and serenity is nowhere to be found it seems that God’s Son somehow failed us. If we are fearful, obviously Jesus must not have left enough peace.
Yet, the reason we may be fearful is because we did not understand that to attain the peace Jesus offers requires a continuous abiding with Him as He taught a few verses later in John 15. By keeping my eyes on Christ and, therefore my heart aligned with His will, I am able to calmly weather whatever life throws at me. I am able to discern that what the world offers will not give me peace.
One of the most egregious errors we make in logic is to base our decisions on information and facts at the expense of understanding context! We see a car run over a child on a bicycle and conclude that the driver was not paying attention based on what our eyes fed our brain. But what we don’t know is that the driver blacked out and had no control over her vehicle. Without proper context, content can lead us to make artificial decisions, to be smugly dogmatic, to be inappropriately judgmental, to allow cloudy reasoning and, to infer from an insufficient sample-size, false conclusions. If our tendency over time is to force fit content to our preconceived notions of right we will increasingly become blind to context. Ironically, even the word content pronounced differently has another meaning.
Weak listening skills, poor attention to detail, myopic vision, pride and impatience seem to be the greatest threats to appreciating context. Beware of making a god out of the obviousand worshiping at the altar of presumption. Satan celebrated when the religious leaders sent Jesus to the cross because he misunderstood the full meaning of the blood of the Lamb. We know best when we live from the framework of true worship. Abide, abide, abide!
Good decisions are made in context.—George Barna in The Power of Vision
©2017 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)