Pretzels of the twisted kind. Thinking of the twisted kind. I heard it just yesterday. From those who claim to love You, Lord.
Even me…? Not yesterday, perhaps. But I am certainly not immune…
“…watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1)
We were talking about events in our day. How, increasingly, the rhetoric against Christians has turned more hateful. HATE-FULL. How words expressed in support of what You have taught us, Lord, are being twisted by minds (and hearts) that are calling… what is evil “Good”… what is wrong, “Right.”
I heard one at the table say, “I hate them with all my heart!” My spirit winced. He calls himself a Christian. But hate begetting hate? That isn’t what You say… is it, Lord?
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)
In another setting, others were talking about the “failings” of coworkers. The frustrations that bubble over when some refuse to do what they are supposed to do. The “Yes, but…” Wall that ends up dividing us with disdain instead of uniting us with compassion.
“I love this person, BUT…” followed by a string of bitter comments, coming out of a heart of judgment. Assuming the worst of intentions.
You gave me gentle words, Lord. Words of Insight into the possible intentions of the “offending” person. Words of Understanding that cast a different light on the behavior manifested. Words of Wisdom that opened a Door through the wall that behavior had erected.
You made A Way, Lord… where, just a moment before, there had been no way. Peace — and, therefore, possibility — returned.
Pretzel Thinking is twisted… isn’t it, Abba? It doubles back on itself, snaring us in ways that inevitably lead to trips and falls.
Maybe that’s why You warn us to guard our hearts.
“For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Luke 6:45)
Maybe that’s why You exhort us to turn to You, in every moment, and take personal responsibility.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
It’s true everywhere… isn’t it, Lord? In our homes, our neighborhoods, our workplaces, our communities… Perhaps even more so, for those of us to whom who have given the privilege of Leadership. Because of the scope of our spheres of influence.
For such a time as this. As the Day of Your return draws closer. When the importance of our witness for You cannot be overstated.
Asking You to untwist my “pretzels”…