This is my most recent status update on Facebook:
Tonight’s lecture at BSF (which was spot on loaded with TRUTH and prime for application & implementation — thank you Jaime Barton Brackett) was about choices. In the margin of my notes I wrote“Ruth CHOOSES to CHEW on her CHOICES”as a reminder that I want to be wise in the small things and the big things.
I’m not going to rehash all my notes from the lecture or even try to summarize most what Jaime said, but this one section got me to thinking about how God works and how we choose.
The passage of Scripture we studied this week is John 13 — Jesus washing the feet of His disciples and admonishing them to serve with humility, followed by His (veiled) revelation of Judas as his betrayer.
So, here’s the thing that hit me tonight. Judas’ betrayal of Jesus was not a fluke. He didn’t just “poof” turn bad after three years of being Jesus’ friend and disciple. He’d been making choices all along. And making them within an environment where he’d been invited by Jesus to follow Him, taught by Jesus in large and small group settings, exposed to miracles as well as the revealed glory of God in Christ, trusted with responsibility, welcomed in relationship and honored right up to the end.
But Judas chose his own ambition over the humility that serves. Judas chose piety, not purity. He opted for betrayal rather than brotherhood.
His rejection of Christ as master and savior did not happen in a single act marked by a kiss, it was a long disobedience in the same direction.
I make dozens of choices every day. Some of them probably are neutral in so much as they don’t move me toward or away from Jesus — but I venture to say that less of those choices than I think are actually neutral. Do I take the time to think through those choices in a way that ensures that I am moving in the right direction? I’m asking the Holy Spirit to show me where I need to take me time and chew over the options before jumping to action. I’m also asking Him to give me the wisdom and insight to see the implication of my choices more clearly and the strength to choose HIM.
I can look back over my life and see times when I’ve chosen ambition…piety…betrayal. I can see that in the past few weeks.
How grateful I am to know that I’ve also made the choice not to just follow Jesus around, but to entrust myself to Him completely — to the work of His blood shed on the cross which cleanses me from all my unrighteousness and reconciles me to God for all of eternity. Like Peter (also recorded in John 13) I have been bathed — but day after day after day I get stinky feet that need a good scrub.