Pastor’s Friday Comments (07.31.20)

A few years ago a reporter for the local newspaper put together an article listing the favorite Scripture verses of the community pastors. Asking someone for their “favorite” Scripture verse is like asking a parent to name their favorite child. It really can’t be done.

There are Bible verses that are particularly appropriate under certain circumstances. There are some that one relies on at a specific stage in life. There are others that stand out because of one’s vocation or lifelong challenges. Frankly, I’m glad for all sixty-six books of the canon.

A more interesting and thought-provoking exercise might be, “If your Bible could only contain ten paragraphs, what would you include?” Maybe I’ll take a stab at that one for next week.

But back to the request from the reporter. There is a passage, two verses actually, on which I hope I rely in all circumstances, but which seem particularly appropriate in our current age. They are Proverbs 3:5-6.

The James King version translates it this way: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In everything you do acknowledge God’s authority over you, and God will guide you to the right path.”

We live in an age when there is very little trust in anything. Political leaders are sowing distrust in the institutions we used to depend on, from mainline news reporting agencies to the electoral process to the judiciary. Political advertisements take the quotes of opponents out of context and distort candidates’ positions. Conspiracy theorists intimate nefarious intentions by “the deep state.” Advertisers use misleading language to entice you to buy their products. Gullible citizens post outlandish stories on social media without bothering to verify their accuracy. It’s no wonder that we don’t trust much of anything these days.

But God – God you can trust. When your faith in every other institution has been shaken or has disappeared entirely, rely on the One who is the Truth, the One who will lead you to the truth for your own life.

You can trust God to guide you through the morass of information overload and disinformation to know what you should believe and how you should act. You can trust God to show you how to love, which is, after all, your main job.

What prevents us from trusting is the deadly sin of pride. We think we are smart enough to figure things out on our own. We are not. There are people who spend every waking hour devising ways to trick you into believing things that simply aren’t true. Left to your own devices, you are at their mercy.

So I recommend you rely on Proverbs 3:5-6. It doesn’t have to be your “favorite” biblical passage, but it is one that you should keep in mind every time you face an uncertain situation, which these days tends to come up every few hours. Trust in God. You won’t go wrong.