The Israelites were gunny-sacking. Gunny-sacking occurs when we store up a list of grievances instead of dealing with them in the order they happen. It is a common experience among married people. A sock left on the floor, the cap left off the toothpaste, or a dish filled with dirty dishes becomes the fodder for the argument that erupts. Before long, the couple no longer knows what started it all. It is as if they had been carrying invisible burlap sacks on their shoulders, throwing grievances in, until finally something as small as a toothpaste cap causes the sack to bust and grievances spill all over.Continue reading
“It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues. When a mind is raised, and animated by scenes that engage the heart, then those qualities which would otherwise lay dormant, wake into life and form the character of the hero and the statesmen.” These are the words of Abigail Adams, wife of the second President of the United States, to her son.
The recipients of the Apostle Peter’s First Letter contended with great difficulties. They were pockets of churches in what is today modern Turkey. Many of them were planted by Jewish converts to Christianity that were exiled from Rome. They left neighbors, livelihoods, and the places of their youth, likely never to see them again. Continue reading