Recently, I bought a guitar cable for my electric guitar. The cable came with two strips of Velcro® to help keep the cable in a tidy loop when stored. I took one of the strips off to use it on the power cable to my amp. That’s when I noticed how clingy it was. I felt like I was in a comedy skit. It stuck to my shirt, my cleaning cloth, everything!
I finally wrestled it onto the power cable, but whew, it was a battle! God reminded me of that battle this morning. Every command God gives us for good, the enemy twists it for evil. Consider:
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.Romans 12:9 NIV
As Jesus told the rich young man, “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. (Mark 10:18) Everything that is genuinely good* has God in it. These are the things we should keep an eye out for, and when we find them, we should ponder (deeply think) about them to uncover God’s transcendent truth contained in them.
God’s will is for us to cling to what is good. But the enemy has a different plan. He wants the things of the world to stick to us. Sometimes, those “things” are people. Clingy people may be the most challenging prickly thing we must deal with.
If you’ve ever walked through woods or an open field, you’ve likely had cockleburs cling to your sneakers, socks, pants, maybe even your hair! And as you know, it is tedious work to remove them.
Cockleburs are so prickly that our every attempt at pulling one loose carry the potential to draw blood. This is how the clingy things of the world behave. The slightest brush with ungodly things may try to cling to you. To use you as the carrier to spread their seeds in a new patch of God’s children. Gossip is perhaps chief among these worldly cockleburs.
But we have good news! We learn about the time in John 13:1–17 Jesus washed the feet of His apostles. Being an “all in” personality, Peter first tells Jesus not to wash his feet and then asks Jesus to wash all of him (I love the Apostle Peter). Jesus then tells Peter:
Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.”John 13:10
Herein is a promise from our Lord: The dust of the world only clings to our feet. For a Christian, we have been baptized, we have been cleansed so thoroughly that the dust of the world (man is but dust) no longer clings to us. But we must walk through this world, and just as cockleburs cling to our socks when we walk through a field, the dust of this world clings to our feet (metaphorically speaking).
Worldliness clings to the part of us that comes in the closest contact with the world. Therefore, we need all of God and the body of believers (Romans 12:4–5) to remove from us the clingy things of the world. Jesus, our Lord, provides this for us, keeping us clean as we remain obedient to Him.
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Image by Henryk Niestrój from Pixabay
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- transcendent = “_existing apart from and not subject to the limitations of the material universe._” ↩