How often do you discover you are arguing with yourself? Are you battling insecurity or fear? We mustn’t merely grumble as a result of our fears of others or even ourselves.
9 Having said these things to them, He stayed in Galilee.10 But when His brothers had gone up to the feast, then He Himself also went up, not publicly, but as if, in secret. 11 So the Jews were seeking Him at the feast and were saying, “Where is He?” 12 There was much grumbling among the crowds concerning Him; some were saying, “He is a good man”; others were saying, “No, on the contrary, He leads the people astray.” 13 Yet no one was speaking openly of Him for fear of the Jews.
How often do we grumble? The murmurings we say “under our breath” instead of out loud for one reason or another. It is noted that in this context “the Jews” refers to the Pharisees and other religious authorities of the time. This was a Jewish feast, so only Jews were there in the first place. The rest of the crowd was keeping their thoughts to themselves for fear that the religious authorities would overhear them and punish them for speaking about Jesus. Two questions come to mind:
1 – How often do we keep things to ourselves because of fear?
2 – How often do we cause others to start thinking outside of “conventional wisdom”?
I find myself hesitating to do things or say things out of silly fears. In retrospect, it always is benign and unexplainable. Why was it so hard for me to pull over and help someone with a flat tire? Why did I turn the other way when someone was struggling to reach a box on a high shelf? Why did I bite my tongue when I saw someone being wronged? My initial desire to help someone is suddenly halted for an unknown reason. I think back to an experience I will never forget. Walking into a store one day a lady asked me if I could help jump start her car. Unfortunately, I did not have my jumper cables at the time, I emptied my truck to move furniture. As I entered the store, the though flashed through my mind: you can buy jumper cables here. I walked to the automotive section and suddenly noticed that I was wishing there weren’t any cables there. Turns out there was quite a selection. “Ok God,” I thought, “I guess you really want me to do this.” Seriously? Why did I have any doubt that God wanted me to help someone in need? I know it’s exactly what He calls us to do, yet I was fighting it. I literally walked up and down the aisle for a few minutes debating what I was about to do. I came up with every excuse I could think of why not to do it. Finally, I took the plunge. I ran to the checkout lane and worked my way out to the dead car as fast as I could. Turns out, the store offers battery recharges and were in the process of helping the lady out. I offered her the cables and she said she didn’t need them anymore. God certainly has a sense of humor. I told her, since she didn’t have any, that she should take them “just in case” for next time. “Thank you,” she said. “God has certainly seen what you have done for me. You will be blessed.” I certainly was. I was blessed with the experience of acting despite my fears.
I still war with myself in this way today. Why? Because the flesh is weak. Our stupid little insecurities sprout up and cause us to question ourselves when we already know the answer. Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow.