Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Going Against The Grain

If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you." — John 15:18-20

One of my childhood memories is of me and my grandfather standing next to his workbench as he explained the difference between a crosscut and fine tooth saw. Funny what you remember! And why do you remember some things from your childhood and not others? I must have been all of 8 years old. My grandfather was a carpenter – as was my dad and, I suppose in a manner of speaking so am I in that I love to make things out of wood – I find it calming. But I digress … my point is that the crosscut saw was designed to cut wood across its grain not with it, which is the easier thing to do.  Actually Shakespeare made the idiom “to go against the grain” popular in his writings. The point with the saw and the Shakespeare reference is that if you don’t go with the grain – you will find it more difficult. In the case of sawing wood – you will need some help.

In the Book of John, Jesus said that we will find living in the Way in a world that says the Way is not the way to live will be difficult. We will be going against the grain. It is so much easier to go along to get along – not have to deal with resistance and rejection from the culture.  If we reflect the light of Christ – why would you imagine that a world that loves darkness would embrace you. You must embrace their sin to be acceptable and avoid rejection and criticism. After all – if there is a difference of opinion with respect to what is right and wrong living – someone must be wrong and in the mind of our culture – it is you Christian – not them.

I read about someone who drowned after being caught up in a rip-tide. A riptide will sweep you out to sea – you can’t swim against the current – it is too powerful – the solution is to swim across the flow out of the current – swim across the grain if you will – difficult? Yes. Impossible? No.  To live in a manner that honors God we need help. Spiritual help. 

“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. – John 14:16-15

The very same Spirit by which we were all sealed at the moment of our rebirth. The very same Spirit that dwells in each of us that believe by faith. The Spirit that helps us live as witnesses to the Truth in the face of rejection by the culture we live in – naturally – but now that we are children of God, we are sojourners in a strange land – and lest we forget, our citizenship and hearts’ devotion is in Heaven – It is that Spirit that enables us to “go against the grain”.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” – Romans 12:2

Think about it – Pray about it - Believe it – Walk in it. Let your light shine and give God the glory.

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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