Don’t Get Sidetracked

I was contemplating today’s readings. So many things to write about and learn from but a couple of verses caught my attention just now as I sat to write and once again the harmony of scripture astounded me.

Judges 2:10 says that the generation from the wilderness had died out and the next generation didn’t know about God and all He had done for them. This always makes my jaw drop. One generation? Seriously, in ONE generation all the miraculous things that had happened were forgotten? Parents had forgotten the precise instructions Moses gave to teach their children all that had happened?

Then I read in Luke about the Disciples. Jesus has just broken bread and shared wine with them instituting the way to remember the New Covenant. Then He drops the bombshell that one of them will betray Him and they are shocked. They start questioning each other about who could do such an awful thing – as you would expect. But just like the generation that forgot the first Covenant they forget so quickly the second:

23 They immediately began questioning each other.

Disciples: Which one of us could do such a horrible thing?

24 Soon they found themselves arguing about the opposite question.

Disciples: Which one of us is the most faithful, the most important?

Luke 22:23-24

Another jaw-dropper. But really, are we any different? Without the grace and power of the Holy Spirit, we quickly get distracted by things around us. Even with that presence in our lives, we get distracted so maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on the Israelites and the Disciples.

I imagine the Israelites got distracted by the nations around them, torn between driving them out as they had been commanded and being enticed by their bright and shiny traditions and belongings, their technologies and customs. Things that were different and intriguing. The Disciples definitely got distracted by pride “Jesus loves me more, I am the best Disciple.”

A wise woman builds her house,
    but a foolish one picks it to splinters with her own hands.

Proverbs 14:1

How do we build our houses instead of destroying them? How do we build with materials that will survive testing and last for eternity? We have to refuse distraction and concentrate on the things that matter. How do we recognise distraction? Firstly by listening to, learning from, imitating and following Jesus and all that He has taught us and by being filled with the Holy Spirit who removes fear and gives us all we need for life and godliness.

Secondly by being part of the family of God, the Church. This second part is vital because it’s in association with our brothers and sisters that we are taught and teach, we see example and set example and we become more effective followers of Jesus and witnesses to the world.

Let’s not be like the Israelites distracted by temptations outside His plan for us or like the Disciples squabbling about who is greatest. Let’s instead be like the wise woman who builds her house with things that will last for eternity. Let’s build each other up and grow together to be more like Him.

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