True to Plumb

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I am setting a plumb line in the midst of My people.  —Amos 7:8 NKJV

“An army of the world’s top climatologists agree: manmade global warming is a fraud.”

I clicked the link to read the article then Googled the subject. A whole slew of articles popped up addressing the topic, some claiming manmade global warming is a scam, others insisting climate warming is, indeed, due to human activities.

Who to believe?

It’s like the “eggs are bad/good for you” debate. It seems for every theory, there’s an opposing one. Both sides use scientific studies to back their claims.

But theories change, don’t they?

I don’t know about you, but I want to build my life on something that doesn’t change.

What doesn’t change?

Truth.

But how do we know what’s true and what’s false? What basis do we use?

Me, I use the Bible.

There are those, I know, who don’t believe the Bible is God’s Word or that it’s relevant to us today. It’s like the global warming controversy and the debate over whether a certain food is good or bad for the human body. We look at the argument on both sides and choose.

I choose to believe the Bible is the Word of God and use it as the rock upon which I build my life-house.

Why?

First, because the Bible shows us our Creator’s standards. Like a plumb line. When a wall is built to standard and is straight, it’s said to be “true to plumb.” If it isn’t, it’s “out of plumb.”

“You can’t please everyone, so you’ve got to please yourself,” sang the late Rick Nelson in his hit song “Garden Party.” That might sound like a good philosophy, but think about it: What would the world be like if each person’s main focus was to please himself first, and “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25)? We’d be out of plumb.

Second, the Bible, unlike man’s theories, is enduring. “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever (Isaiah 40:8). “Forever, O LORD, Thy word is firmly fixed in the heavens” (Psalm 119:89). I want a life based on something that isn’t fickle, something that won’t change with every new study or theory.

Third, because God’s Word is enlightening, “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). It gives me guidance, wisdom and knowledge. It lights my way in a world that’s getting darker and darker, clearing up the confusion that often besets me as I travel life’s road.

Fourth, because God’s Word is effective. God Himself said His Word will not return to Him void but will accomplish all that He desires for it to accomplish (Isaiah 55:10–11). It’s living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword and penetrates to the hidden places in our beings—our thoughts and attitudes (Hebrews 4:12)—the very places that need changed and cleansed.

 And finally (not finally really, but finally for the sake of brevity—I have only so many column inches here), God’s Word teaches us what is true and to do what is right. It makes us realize what’s wrong with our lives and how to correct it (2 Timothy 3:16).

Either we’re “out of plumb” or “true to plumb.”

Which are you?

 Help me, O Lord, to be true to plumb. Amen.

Read and reflect on Amos 7:7–15 and Luke 6:46–49.

From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea: 101 devotional readings to savor during your time with God, © 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Travelin’ Together

If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all.  —Romans 12:18 RSV

Our forty-seven-year marriage has survived rearing three kids, building a do-it-yourself house, changing jobs, and losing both sets of parents. But nothing challenges my husband’s and my relationship more than a road trip together.

Dean does the driving and watching traffic and road conditions while I read the map and road signs, letting him know where the exits and the rest areas are. While he depends on me to play the role of navigator, he doesn’t appreciate it when I help him drive, such as pointing to the car ahead and shouting, “BRAKE! BRAKE!”  Or flinching or gasping when it looks as though a tractor-trailer is too close.

If I want my marriage intact at the end of the trip, it’s better, when my navigating skills aren’t needed, to keep my nose in a book or magazine and not on the speedometer or traffic. After nearly five decades, I’m still learning that “he who keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble” (Proverbs 21:23), and that a soft answer does diffuse a tense situation (Proverbs 15:1).

Still, I fight attitudes and feelings that could easily put us on the wrong road—Selfish Street—that leads only to the town of Heartache.

“Make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification,” Paul wrote in the first century in the book of Romans. Those words are especially needed in the home, where I long to let my hair down. It’s hard being nice all day. Sometimes I don’t want to be nice. I don’t want to say the words or do the thing that makes for peace. I want to be mean, to retaliate when someone hurts me, to have the last word. But I know such actions lead only to more strife.

“As far as it depends on you” means I’m responsible, not for what my husband says and does, but for my own actions and reactions. It means keeping quiet when he tries a new route to see if it will save time but it adds more instead. It means biting my tongue and saying something positive through missed exits, wrong turns, crying kids, slow pokes, drivers, and time-consuming detours.

“It’s better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife,” Solomon wrote in Proverbs 21:19. I don’t want to be a wife whose nagging is “like a constant dripping on a rainy day” (Proverbs 27:15). I’d rather be the wife of Proverbs 31, who brings her husband good, not harm, all the days of her life (verse 12).

Lord, help me to be the wife my husband needs so that he can be all You plan for him to be. Enable me to be a true helpmeet. Amen.

Read and reflect on Romans 12:9–18.

From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea: 101 devotional readings to savor during your time with God © 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved. Image by Mindz from Pixabay