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The Fine Art of Diversion (published in The North Weld Herald/Voice 2/2/12)

posted Sep 7, 2013, 1:17 PM by Fccea Webmaster
While on a road trip, an elderly couple stopped at a roadside restaurant for lunch. Forty-five minutes after resuming their drive, the wife realized she had left her glasses behind. Her husband, who tended toward grouchiness in the best of conditions, was not happy!

He complained and scolded his wife relentlessly on the whole return trip. The more he chided, the madder he got. The wife was greatly relieved when they finally reached back at the restaurant. As she got out of the car and hurried inside to retrieve her glasses, the old geezer yelled after her, "While youre in there, you might as well get my coat and credit card!"

I'm afraid I've been that guy more times than I want to admit. The truth is we all see the foibles of others much more clearly than we see our own. We've been in cover-up mode ever since the Garden of Eden when Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent. God, of course, was not fooled.

One of the easiest ways to cover up is to divert attention away from our own issues and onto someone elses. Its a lot easier to look outward than to look inward. Far easier to point out someone else's faults. It's the fine art of diversion. And it alienates us from both God and man.

Jesus says, "Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? . . . You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye "(Matt. 7:3-5).

That is a lot harder than it sounds. True self-evaluation can be a devastating experience. The thought of peeling back the layers of rationalization that protect our ego is frightening. And yet, it is the first step toward not only healing relationships with others, but also with a holy, but gracious God.

It is only when we stand naked before Him in humble recognition of our own inability to meet our own standards, let alone His, that we are at last prepared to accept His forgiveness as the free gift that it is, without trying to add any merit of our own to the process.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the editors of The Times of London asked several eminent writers to contribute pieces under the theme "What's wrong with the world?" The most profound reply came from theologian G. K. Chesterton who replied, "Dear Sirs, I am. Sincerely yours, G. K. Chesterton."

Chesterton's answer reflects someone who was willing to pay the price to get to the right, and only, starting point for removing alienation, both with God and others. It's a steep price, but it is eternally worth paying.

By His Grace, Pastor Dave
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