Posts Tagged ‘gnats and camels’

Ephesians 4: Seek Ripening

Friday, December 1, 2017

Richard Rohr, OFM explains that we learn wisdom and have no need to judge others when we allow ourselves to ripen in God’s image, to mature in Christ’s love, to grow in the Spirit’s patience and perseverance.

“If we are to speak of a spirituality of ripening, we need to recognize that it is always characterized by an increasing tolerance for ambiguity, a growing sense of subtlety, an ever-larger ability to include and allow, and a capacity to live with contradictions and even to love them!” (Rohr 346)

Paul tells the Ephesians, and he tells us: And so we shall all come together to that oneness in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God; we shall become mature people, reaching to the very height of Christ’s full stature. (GNT)

God says: You have no need to judge one another. You have no need to point out specks on the eyes of others. You have no need to strain gnats before drinking from the cup I offer you. Do you see yourself swallowing camels or does the log in your eye keep you from discerning your own image? How do you represent me in the world? How do you act as my hands and feet, lips and eyes, heart and mind? My Spirit lives in you to bring you wisdom and patience. My Son lives in you to bring courage and persistence. I live in you to bring you strength and maturity.When you welcome ripening, you will suffer loss but this loss is a gain when you allow me to suffer with you. When you welcome maturity, your desire to protect yourself or to win at all costs will disappear because when you fully welcome me you will learn that with me a loss is a gain and a gain is a loss. When you ripen in me, you never grow old. When you mature in me, you never fear the woes of the world. When you grow in me, there is no limit to your patience and love. Come to me when you worry about gnats and camels, specks and beams, rights and wrongs. Come to me, and you will have need of nothing more, for my love alone is enough.

Today we God offers us an opportunity to seek growth, wisdom and maturity. God calls us to ripen in the Spirit, and to come to full season in Christ.

We turn to Luke 6:37-42 and Matthew 23 to remind ourselves of Christ’s warning against judging others.

Enter the words spiritual maturity into the blog search bar to explore other reflections on how we might grow in Christ.

Click on the spiritual path image for a Huffington Post blog post on signs of spiritual maturity. 

Richard Rohr, OFM. A Spring Within Us: A Book of Daily Meditations. Albuquerque, NM: CAC Publishing, 2016.

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Micah 3Downfall

Wednesday, June 15, 2016camels in needle eye

This Favorite from May 18, 2007 seems appropriate in our present social, spiritual and political times. So many themes in scripture are universal and eternal. Let us enter into conversation with others to look for best ways to come together. Let us enter into conversation with God to look for guidance, connection and peace that is lasting. As we reflect today, we remember Jesus’ words recorded in Matthew 19:23-24 about the ease of fitting a camel through the eye of a needle. 

From the NAB footnotes: “Here Micah accuses them [the false prophets] of prophesying for venal motives and determining the prophecy by the price that is paid them; he contrasts his own disinterested preaching of the word of God.” Micah calls us to evaluate our own motives.

ken-fong-more-than-writing-checks-100131-3-728 (1)I am reflecting on the “flip-flop” tendency of human beings to self-serve. So many of us say and do what results best for us in the short run while neglecting what is best for the greater good in the long run. So many of us close our eyes to the truth, to the obvious. We “strain out gnats and swallow camels” like the false leaders we hear about in Matthew (23:24). We even manage to twist God’s goodness to make it suit our own desires rather than his.

LORD above all, keep us close to you every day, in every way. Steer us away from venal motives. Guide us with your merciful hand. Touch our hearts and our lives. Call us to our greater good, our greater potential. Be the pillar of fire of smoke which both leads and protects. Abide with us. Comfort us. Heal us. Save us. Restore us.

Amen. For more reflections on false leaders, enter the word Downfall into the blog search bar and explore.


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