Sometimes when I find my introspection to be unedifying (read: I’m worrying), I have to renew my mind and get back to the basics. Here’s the path I took this morning: I started in Deuteronomy 6:4-7.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
It’s easy to worry about whether I’m teaching right things, teaching enough or too much, and feeling awkward, and in the meantime forget the primary emphasis in this passage. Moses didn’t start with teaching our children. Before we are commanded to teach our children, we are commanded to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and might. That’s quite a bit more simple than the teaching part, and not too overwhelming (who’s overwhelmed?!).
It is true that sometimes, even loving God can seem overwhelming. I know that loving God means keeping his commandments, and that can be difficult. I don’t always understand what I read in the Bible. I don’t always know the best way to apply it. That’s why the next stop I took this morning is Micah 6:8.
He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
Walk humbly? I can do that. When I pray, when I look into God’s Word, when I seek for wisdom, I’m acknowledging that I cannot live life apart from God. I need the fellowship with God, I need His guidance, I need His grace. With every realization of my spiritual helplessness, with every step toward greater dependence on God, I am walking humbly. I certainly need his mercy. I can love God’s mercy to me every day. Do justly? Yes, I can do that. Sadly, I can worry so much about what I don’t know that I forget there’s always something I do know. Instead, I can do the right thing today, right now. This verse keeps it simple, and I need simplicity.
Talking about humility reminds me about James 4:6 and 8.
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
When I humble myself and draw near to God, He promises to draw near to me. Again, I can always take one more step closer to God. I know that tonight, my husband has some work on the computer that he wants to do. Instead of sitting next to him and moping because I want to be on the computer, I could actually be reading my Bible.
I need to renew my mind and start with my relationship with God. All the other parenting questions I have, all the Bible questions I have, they will come soon enough. Right now I need the wisdom that is pure, peaceable, gentle, approachable, full of mercy, without partiality and hypocrisy (James 3:17). That’s the atmosphere I want in my home, and I know just where to go to get it.