Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Tonight at our ladies' Bible study/prayer group, we found ourselves discussing a chapter out of an old book that we had read. The book talked about the need for young women to cultivate piety in their lives.
Hmmm... Piety. That's kind of an old-fashioned word. What does that mean? we all wondered.
So, we pulled out Webster's 1828 dictionary. I found a lot of food for thought.
Piety 1.) Piety in principle, is a compound of veneration or reverence of the Supreme Being and love of His character, or veneration accompanied with love; and piety in practice, is the exercise of these affections in obedience to His will and devotion to his service. 2.) Reverence of parents or friends, accompanied with affection and devotion to their honor and happiness. Piety is the only proper and adequate relief of decaying man.
"...love of His character..."
I thought back to a recent visit with my friend who I was trying to explain something to. I knew that she doesn't believe what I do. I was trying to explain a Biblical doctrine to her that she had asked about. She is someone who has always had a very negative view of God, and is finally taking baby steps towards recognizing that God is God and He is good, and he deserves her respect and love whether or not she likes everything that He does. These concepts seem so hard for her to grasp. She seems so easily offended by the hard truths of the Bible, and yet little by little, I see her mind opening to truth, even hard truth, a tiny bit at a time.
So, I explained the part she had asked about. I carefully avoided getting into another related subject, knowing that it probably wouldn't go over well if I told it to her like it is. She would need the "mild" version or would need to wait for another day to hear all of those hard truths... so I didn't even go down that trail with her.
But, I stopped myself this evening. I should have a love of God's character. If I LOVE God's character, why would I cringe to tell her everything of God's character? Why would I think that perhaps she wasn't ready for all of this just yet?
Somehow I believed that my human character could better portray the Truth than the way GOD said it?
I stand convicted.
I must love God's character enough to tell it like it is unabashedly not just to most, but even to my most sensitive friends.
God's character is good, through and through. There is no reason to hold any of it back.
It's GOOD. I should LOVE it! If I love it, I will find it strange if other people find it offensive.