Tuesday Reflection – December 31, 2019
Stay Focused For 2020
If you are hearing or reading this then you are blessed to have lived to see the dawning of the last day of 2019, the last day of this decade. That is a blessing since we are never guaranteed a new day. Someone said the most certain thing in life is death and the most uncertain thing is the timing of death. Let us give thanks therefore that we are counted among the living and let us maintain hope that we will make it into the new year. It is with this hope that I invite us to stay focused for 2020. Today’s watchword comes from Exodus 23: 7. Keep far from a false charge. A false charge or a false accusation is defined by the online dictionary as a claim or allegation of wrongdoing that is untrue and/or otherwise unsupported by facts. It helps to know that the rest of verse 7 says ‘and do not kill the innocent and righteous, for I will not acquit the wicked’. The caution being given here was for the people of God to be vigilant in the administration of the laws so that it be not used to take advantage of anyone. It was a call to care for rather than tear down others, knowing that God is the supreme judge, and no one will escape God’s justice.
Knowing this, the text calls on us to honor the eighth commandment, ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor’ Ex 20: 16. It is a call not only to be honest in what we say but also in what we support. To keep far, not only suggests we shouldn’t be the instigators of false accusations, but also that we shouldn’t spread rumors and we shouldn’t support something we do not know to be true. In other words, don’t ‘run with it’ because it sounds like it could be true. This seems to be society’s way today. We should also note that those who instigate such actions are impacted by it as much as those they seek to destroy so no one wins. God therefore calls upon those who know and follow Christ to be different. Proverbs 6: 16 – 19 gives us a list of things God hates. There are six things that the LORD strongly dislikes, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among the brethren. As we end 2019 we need to look back and take stock of our faith walk. Have we been doing any of these actions that displeases God? If yes, there is need for us to refocus for the new year. If no then I say to you maintain your focus for 2020.
Today’s doctrinal text points us in the direction we ought to grow for the new year. I leave it with us as spiritual compass for 2020. It comes from Philippians 4: 8 Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. These are words to live by and to build up ourselves and others through their practice. While false charges destroy others and us, living by what is good, right and pure is uplifting and spiritually enriching to us and those around. No need to worry about those who practice evil either for God has promised ‘I will not acquit the wicked’. May we all stay focused for 2020 as I wish for all a happy, blessed and prosperous new year. Amen