Friday, March 6, 2020
2 Corinthians 1:12-22
Have you had those moments in your life when you wanted to say “yes” and “no” at precisely the same time? It usually happens to me when I have this eager desire to please everyone who asks a favor of me. I am a “yes” person, by nature, so I say “yes” to some things I really have no business doing. I sense the urge when someone is in need. I desire to do things when I know I can do them well. I desire to do things when people appeal to my ego with things like, “You would be perfect for this!” or “We just can’t think of a better person to do this.” Sometimes I wake up to the fact that their sense of perfection is a fairly low bar and that the reason they can’t think of a better person is because all the better people have said, “No!”
Paul describes this tendency to say “Yes” and “No” as ordinary human standards … speaking out of both sides of our mouths. When it comes to faith, I know of times when I have both affirmed and denied the call of Christ. There are times when my mind and mouth say “yes,” but I say “no” by not actually doing what I have said I would do. Paul is asking that our actions equal our words when we say “yes” to Christ.
The beginning of Lent is like the new year. We set out resolute to do something differently, whether it is practicing some sort of a fast or adding a spiritual practice. Then we find ourselves a few days in and, distracted by the ever-unfolding lives we lead, we forget why we even wanted to do the thing we wanted to do (not pointing fingers at anyone but me).
I think the bigger picture here is that Christ is calling me only to fast from thinking I can fight fire with fire … or live by the sword … or eliminate injustice by treating my enemies unjustly. Christ is asking that I say “yes” to following in his way of peace.
Lord God, let my “yes” to you be a “yes” to your way of peace. Amen.