Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wednesday, 03/21/12

Psalms: 101, 109, 119:121-144
Old Testament: Gen 50:15-26
New Testament: 1 Cor 12:1-11
Gospel: Mark 8:11-26

“ I will not set before my eyes anything that is base.” 
Psalm 101:3
A long time ago, in a land far away, I lifted a lot of weights.  One of the most important lifts we did was “the squat.”  In this lift, appropriately enough, you squat, stand up, and then squat again for the desired number of repetitions.

Because squats use some of the biggest muscles of your body, you can really pile on the weights (we’d squat upwards of 500 pounds); and because you use so much weight, squats can be dangerous.  One of the keys to squatting well is remembering to look up throughout the movement.   In squats, as in so many things in life, the way you look is the way you go.  So, if you look down while squatting, you tend to lean forward, and then, as all those weights come forward accordingly, you are in BIG trouble. 

The way you look is the way you gothat’s the principle behind the verse above.  If we focus on “corrupt and degrading things” (as the Message translates it), that will shape our thinking accordingly, and ultimately our actions.
Paul picks up this same principle in the New Testament and gives it a positive twist:  “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  (Philippians 4:8)  To understand what is at stake, imagine the opposite:  Whatever is untrue, dishonest, unjust, impure, ugly, negative, vicious, or worthy of criticism, think about these things.  Put so starkly, it sounds funny doesn’t it?  Yet that is precisely where so many people put their focus these days.

I hope you or I will not be one of them, choosing instead the
ancient wisdom of the Psalmist who will not allow
anything base before his eyes.


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