|Are you pointing out my tendencies?|
I'm a football fan, so this is the best time of year for me -- the playoffs! One of the keys to winning at a high level in football is to be keenly observant of your opponents tendencies. Are their corners ball-hawks who are susceptible to a double-move? Is the defense aggressive to the point of over-pursuing on mis-direction? Do they quickly abandon the run game when they fall behind? By picking up on tendencies through film study and during the game, you can adjust your calls and strategy to take advantage of them.
As Jesus continues to teach in His Sermon on the Mount, we see how He is calling attention to our tendencies. In today's verses, there are many, implied by the admonishments of Christ.
We tend to worry about material things. -- Jesus says, put spiritual things at the top of your concern list and I'll take care of the material stuff for you.
We tend to be judgmental of others. -- Jesus says, don't be surprised when your critical and merciless approach comes right back around at you.
We tend to want to fix other people's 'problems' before fixing our own. -- Jesus says, this is about as ridiculous as a blind optometrist.
We tend to suffer needless pain from trying to help people who don't want to be helped. -- Jesus says, go bless somebody who will appreciate your effort.
We tend to get lax about praying. -- Jesus says, keep it up - it gets results!
We tend to want more from others than we are willing to give. Jesus says, the things you want from others are the things you ought to be giving to others.
We tend to go with the flow and go the easy way. -- Jesus says, the way to all that is best calls for courageous and disciplined effort.
Do you recognize yourself in any, many, all of these tendencies? These tendencies are what come natural to us mortals. But Jesus is calling us to live beyond the natural; to live "super-natural" lives. This will require His help. Thanks be to God for the helper, the Holy Spirit.
Pray: All-wise and knowing God, help me to know myself. Help me to identify my tendencies and to develop strategies that allow me to overcome them. Give me super-natural victories through the presence of your Spirit in me.