Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain
is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.
Other translations say that this righteous man falters before the wicked.
I understand that I am righteous, not by my works or who I am, but because of Christ and what He did. To proclaim that I am righteous is to celebrate that Christ is who He says He is, and He did what He said He would do.
With that said, I would go back to the verse I pointed out and say, that though we have been made perfect by Christ’s finished work, it is our finite minds and bodies that are still corruptible. Our thought processes can still be muddied, for sure. Our systems can certainly be polluted, and when doubt is cast upon the purity/legitimacy of the waters (by our own doing and/or by the works of others), we are sure to falter. Righteous as we are in eternity, I am reminded that the wicked can still have their way on us in this world.
Is all this to say that the finite has superiority over the infinite aspects of our being new in Christ? Not at all. In fact, in these moments that our springs are muddied, and our fountains are polluted, we draw hope from the Truth that Christ continues to flow in and through us as a river – the filth can corrupt a huge deal, but it is ultimately temporary, and would eventually be expunged.
In those times that we feel as if the impact of our frailties is too much to bear, let us keep going back to the river. Let us keep running to the water… to dip ourselves, immerse ourselves, seven times if we must, as Naaman was told… and eventually we would be rendered completely clean, even of afflictions and conditions that man would claim are hopeless cases.
In those times we feel as if the wicked have the upper hand, by their escalated actions and/or by our mistakes, let us always remember that there is no work greater than Christ’s, and there is no Rock stronger than Him, that we would be permanently, eternally shamed and stricken, nor shall we be completely shaken.
It is not good to eat much honey,
nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory.
Considering what we talked about in the previous verse, how could we even consider our own glory as priority over that of Christ, who Himself is responsible for taking us from glory to glory?
To push our ascension is to force time to run faster, and space to expand beyond the borders that have been set – it is not only impossible, but to even consider it is already a waste of time and space as it is. No, as Christ deserves all the glory for who He is, He also deserves it because He is the only one who can handle it.
Just as we are unable to handle the Knowledge of Good and Evil, so we are unable, as Creations, to take in and handle the glory that only the Creator is able to wield, with infinite power and endless peace. What’s more is that apparently seeking our own glory would have us drained of life, but it would also leave us full of death.
But, again, Christ comes through. For He who deserves all the praise was the One who left His glory… and we know this because He not only intentionally came to be born as one of us, but, living as one of us, He also lay down His life.
The glorious One, in all humility, lay it all down, that by reconciliation we would share in the glory which was for Him alone. And, apparently, this glory is not glory that is contained by time and space… For the Word says that we move from glory to glory, implying that the glory Christ shared to us is as He is – timeless and eternal, infinite and beyond borders.
In those times when we are tempted to strive for our own glory, we would do well to remember that we already have the One who deserves all glory, and He has us. We would do well to remember that we could not handle that which we seek, and we would find far beyond the validation and comfort we associate with glory, not by our works by any means, but through Christ and His finished work.
In those times when we are tempted to strive for our own glory, when things don’t seem to be moving according to our pace and/or expectations, we would do well to understand that glory actually doesn’t move according to our finite understanding, but rather, we are moved – from glory to glory – as Christ, again as a river, flows in and through us.
To be honest, sometimes I would imagine, I wouldn’t be surprised if 18-year old JB would read all of this and call present-day JB batshit crazy. But, well, this is the grace beyond words that has been keeping me together all this time.
A man without self-control
is like a city broken into and left without walls.
If this reality isn’t relentless in corrupting and/or invalidating (cancelling?) anyone and anything, then it’s also distracting us, trying to break our focus, trying to seize control, leaving us vulnerable and defenseless.
To wrap this all up, I would share that Christ is for us, and He will always be for us – He is our Strong Tower, in whom we can run and be safe… and although attacks in all forms may attempt to creep into our being beyond that which we see and feel, we know that Christ is our Door, our Shepherd – Our Good Shepherd who not only protects us, but assures us of our everlasting security with Him.
The One who is as the Living Water is also the One who leads us to the same still waters, restoring our souls.
I needed to share this today, for myself just as much as I intend it for anyone and everyone else who reads it.
As we jump into this weekend, may we always remember the incorruptible righteousness, the faithful confidence, and the invulnerable security that we have in no less than the Son of God, our Savior, Jesus Christ.
God bless us all.