‘test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.’ [1 Thessalonians 5.21-22]
this is one of my favourite verses in the Bible – to be faithful to it, the verse is speaking specifically of prophecies, but i have found that it is a generally great life principle to extend to all things – hold on to the good, let go of the evil/hurtful/untrue.
so when it comes to giving a response to the ‘a nonny miss?’ email i received, this feels like a great place to begin [and thankx to my friend 'Art Lives' for helping point me in that direction] – what is the good in the email?
and there may be more than this, but i think for me the strongest benefit was the call to be aware of how you spend your time and to spend it well.
i stumbled upon this quote today – “Time is the coin of life. Only you can determine how it will be spent.” – Carl Sandburg – which i find to be so true.
there have been many, no that probably deserves a little bold, many times in life when i have felt convicted about the amount of time i have been spending in some particular activity [which may or may not be a bad thing in and of itself] and i have felt God saying to me, “You need to cut this out completely or tone it down in this or that way” and i have [sometimes with more kicking and screaming or dragging of my feet than other times] and each time i am obedient to that call from God there is a strong sense of relief and freedom and an awareness of some of the better things i can be spending my time doing… this ranges from tv watching to sport following to computer games to poker to church related activities and probably more i can’t think of.
too much of a good thing, or even a neutral thing, can be a bad thing. i imagine that Time is a resource way too many of us take for granted… and it is not one you can recover, so it makes so much sense to keep on returning to a place of evaluating how you spend your time and making great decisions on how you use it.
so that is a positive i take from the anonymous email caution i received last week – do i agree with it in terms of the specific issue it was related to? i may comment on that a little later. but the call to watch yourself in that area is one that is at the very least a good reminder.
and i think it takes on greater significance when you are married – because now a neutral or good thing may become a bad thing when it takes away from time you should be spending with your life partner [and this is not an easy one to navigate always as there is a strong likelihood that the two of you will think differently on what is good and bad time spent on different things, but hopefully you make good space for communication around the topic] and so there is more introspection that needs to take place.
so two powerful lessons learnt or revisited – one to be able to look into criticism, even that which may not necessarily seem valid, and to seek that which is good and learn from or be encouraged by that – and two to be reminded once again that time is such a valuable resource [and we don't know when ours or other peoples' runs out in this life] and to take stock of my life and my activities and evaluate whether the time spent is valuable or good or not. for that i thank you.
what i really love about the verse i started quoting is that it comes from a context which calls us towards being joyful, and so i will look at that a little more closely in future musings…
‘Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.’ [1 Thessalonians 5.16-20]