Sunday, August 28, 2011

What You Leave Behind

It has been a while, but it’s time to pick up the proverbial pen again.

I have heard it said that only two things are left behind when you die; your children and your reputation.


Ken Margaret Zach


Because we are told to do so, we are raising Zac to be a Torah observant man of YHWH.  One who will fear YHWH and guard His Commandments.

Train up a na'ar (child)in the derech (road) he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
(Proverbs 22:6 OJB)

When you raise your children in the Path/Way of Truth, you are promised that they will not depart from the Way.  I have the upmost confidence that this is an irrefutable law of YHWH and like the others, this one will not fail. 

This is not what I want to address in this blog.  I want to look at and talk about reputation.

Different people see us in different ways.  I have friends and acquaintances who probably see me as somewhat of a cutup and a comedian wannabe. Others who go by appearances might see me as a somber and serious type, since I do not have a flashy or obvious smile. 

I often wonder what people think and sometimes don’t have to wonder since oft times they will tell you.

We are told to avoid anything that even appears to be evil.

Abstain from all appearance of evil.
(1 Thessalonians 5:22 IAV)

Why are we told to do this?  Many things might appear to be evil to some, but not to others.  How could you possibly know what looks like evil to each individual.  Obviously you cannot do this, so there must be a point of reference that we could use in this situation.  I would venture to say the safe choice is do not do anything that appears you are in violation of YHWH’s commands.

In my lifetime I have somehow developed a reputation that saddens me.  Along the way, there have been those who see me as mean, smart aleck or somewhat of a jerk.  I was shocked the first time this was brought to my attention.  I have always tried to be friendly, kind and considerate of others and would never have dreamed that others would think of me in this way.

It is quite clear that someway that I have acted has led others to believe this, so I have decided to try and remedy this train of thought. 

In the future I must try and bridle my tongue more.

Who is the man who desires life, Who loves many days, in order to see good? Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit. Turn away from evil and do good; Seek peace, and pursue it.
(Psalms 34:12-14 The Scriptures 1998+)

Psa 39:1  I have said,“Let me guard my ways Against sinning with my tongue; Let me guard my mouth with a muzzle, While the wrongdoer is before me.”
Psa 39:2  I became dumb, keeping still; I was silent, from good; And my pain was stirred.
Psa 39:3  My heart was hot within me; While I was meditating, the fire burned. Then I spoke with my tongue:
Psa 39:4  “יהוה, let me know my end, And the measure of my days, what it is, Let me know how short-lived I am.
Psa 39:5  “See, You have made my days as handbreadths, And my lifetime is as non-existence before You; Only, all men standing, are all breath. Selah.
Psa 39:6  “As but a shadow each one walks; They busy themselves, only in vain; He heaps up wealth, But knows not who gathers them.
Psa 39:7  “And now, יהוה, what do I wait for? My expectancy is in You.
Psa 39:8  “Deliver me from all my transgressions; Do not make me the reproach of the foolish.
Psa 39:9  “I was dumb, I did not open my mouth, Because it was You who did it.
Psa 39:10  “Turn aside Your stroke from me; I am overcome by the blow of Your hand.
Psa 39:11  “When You chastise man for crookedness with reproofs, You consume what he loves, like a moth; All men are but a breath. Selah.
Psa 39:12  “Hear my prayer, O יהוה, And give ear to my cry; Do not be silent at my tears; For I am a stranger with You, A sojourner, as all my fathers were.
Psa 39:13  “Look away from me, That I might brighten up, Before I go away and am no more.”

Pro 15:2  The tongue of the wise makes knowledge good, But the mouth of fools pours out foolishness.
Pro 15:3  The eyes of יהוה are in every place, Watching the evil and the good.
Pro 15:4  A healing tongue is a tree of life, But perverseness in it crushes the spirit.

Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we Elohim, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of Elohim. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
(James 3:3-13 IAV)

So I have decided that now is the time to do my part to change this image.  I must seek YHWH and let Him work out this issue in my life.  Bridling my tongue, keeping my opinion to myself these are things I must apply on a daily basis.

Wouldn’t it be horrible to live your life and think of yourself in one way while everyone else saw you in a different light?

Many times we see ourselves as being a certain type of person while most others see us differently.  My number one goal is to be seen as a servant of YHWH.  May He makes us all into His children.