Everything’s wonderful, but…

I have often mentioned I read Dear Abby and Ask Amy in the morning newspapers, along with the comics and the word puzzles, because these “advice columns” give me fuel for my blogging fire.

If you also read them, have you noticed that so very often the writer starts off with how wonderful their spouse or partner is, how s/he is kind and affectionate and how wonderful everything is with that person. Then they say something like, “But when he is drunk every night , he hits me” or “She spends too much money and we are broke” or maybe even, “I sneak into his emails and he is flirting with co-workers.”

They try to convince themselves that everything is wine and roses, but they have really significant issues and they ask Abby or Amy what to do. Don’t they read their own letters? It’s obvious what to do- get your head out of the place it is in and back on your shoulders! Open your eyes! WAKE UP!!!

I also notice how I almost never see anyone write in who is a Believer. Oh, there are “religious” people who write in, all right, but they are usually the ones that give God a bad name: they are self-righteous, unloving, and stoic. It is good stuff for the column, since everyone reading their bigoted and pretentious attitudes gets a good rise from it (which is why, when we are honest with ourselves, many of us read these types of articles) but you rarely, if ever, see anyone who trusts in God and is faithful write in.

Maybe that’s because we know the best answers aren’t in the newspaper, but in the Bible.

What will happen to these people who try to convince themselves that all is wonderful while they are in the middle of tsouris? Won’t they be the ones who will run to follow the false Messiahs Yeshua warns us about? Won’t they be the ones to take the mark of the enemy because he will promise joy and riches and all those things people without faith and trust in God will want given to them?

We need to keep our eyes open and be honest with ourselves. We need to follow the example of those in the Bible who were able to accept the truth about themselves. David listened to Nathan and accepted responsibility for his sin with Bat Sheba; long before David, his ancestor Y’hudah (Judah) accepted his guilt when he realized he had not given his son to Tamar in marriage, as he promised; Shaul even took the vows of a Nazarene twice- not because he did anything wrong, but to demonstrate to others that he was not doing anything against Torah.

We need to be very, very careful. The times are here already, the shofar is in the hands of the one who is to blow it, and we need to be aware, alert, and honest with ourselves about what we are doing, who we are with, and where we are going.

It is especially important for those Believers who only want to hear about the love and acceptance that the grace of God gives to stop fooling themselves. They don’t want to even think that their salvation comes at a price; I am not talking about Yeshua’s suffering, but the price each of us must pay when we are saved. Our individual salvation is easy to receive and hard to keep. That’s why Yeshua said that those who wish to follow Him must take up their execution stake every day. We need to work at keeping our salvation, at being better, at doing more for God and dying more to self. Every day, every hour. Those who only want to hear about God’s love and acceptance and heaven are, as my Pastor says it so well, not willing to leave Goshen. They want all the happy-happy and none of the real life truth about how hard it is to be, and to stay, saved in an unsaved world.

Don’t tell yourself lies. Don’t make out that things are fine when they aren’t, and don’t go in the opposite direction, either: don’t be discouraged by the evil and hate in the world. It’s going to get worse. You need to steel yourself, you need to wear that armor Shaul told us about in Ephesians. We all need to maintain our hope in God’s promises and keep faith in Him; more than that, we also need to accept that we all have to work at it. Salvation is here but it hasn’t arrived yet; we have it but we won’t use it until Yeshua returns; when we cash in our chips is when we receive the prize.

Yeshua told parables that ended with Him saying, “Let those with eyes see and those with ears hear.” We need to have eyes that are open, ears that are unplugged, and faith that is unbending. More than just that, we need to have a humble attitude and contrite spirit, as David did, so that we can accept the truth and work within it.

Look for the truth in your life and don’t sugarcoat salvation. Remember what Yeshua told you: the truth will set you free.

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