You have heard that it has been said ………..but I say………..
In Matthew 5 it is recorded that Jesus spoke this over and over to His listeners, outlining what they had heard and comparing it to His words of life. He, as the Truth, spoke with authority. He appeals to us today as well, to heed (meaning to listen to and follow) His words. How important for us to embrace this model. Yes, we hear so many things, often in direct or implied contradiction to what we know, understand, or even to what was previously touted as ‘truth’. These things must be measured against what He says.
We are daily, hourly, being immersed with the opinions and ‘facts’ of others in the world which puts our discernment at risk. These tensions influence us without our even knowing it. We have heard MANY things being said. Everyone feels they have a valid opinion, everyone sees what they deem ‘truth’ through their own experience. And then do ‘what is right in their own eyes,” having lost or dismissed the spiritual compass of God’s Word. With all of this noise surrounding us in the world, it is difficult to remain impartial, or to not get cynical wondering if anyone speaks truth and is worthy of our trust.
And in our own personal circle, too often it is overlooked that there may just be another perspective on any given situation. When we hear one account, we are instantly swayed and conclusions are drawn. Yet Solomon in his wisdom reminded us that there is more than one way to look at a situation and often our judgment can be enlarged when we seek to at least question ‘the other side.’ ‘In a lawsuit the first to speak seems right, until someone comes forward and cross-examines.’ (Proverbs 18:17). We have probably all experienced having been personally misrepresented, and our perspective not sought to clarify. I know I have, and it really stings, doesn’t it? How much more must God feel, when we are surrounded and often influenced by the opinions of others, yet His is the ONLY TRUE perspective! His is the lens through which we must peer to get a sense of truth and perspective.
So, consider what you have heard – but then seek out and measure it against God’s eternal, all-wise, Spirit breathed perspective. “But I say…. We need to grow rich in discernment as the cultural lines between right and wrong blur and the spiritual darkness seeks to hide His face. What He says brings truth, and life, and light. We are called to be the lights in the world, by the True Light of the world. How else will any not of the Light be able to find their way? What are some qualities of light?
Light separates out and pierces the darkness.
Light brings insight and understanding.
Light brings hope and guidance, like the light to our path.
As we let our light shine, others will see our good works and glorify God in heaven.
What Jesus says matters. I love that Jesus came in grace and truth in perfect measure. Just like a cup of hot tea, grace and truth swirl together and are inseparable. In a world where grace is withheld and truth is questioned or dismissed, it is ever more important that we live out His grace and are guided by His truth, which anchors our souls, and provides a doorway for others to see Him. May we always follow His words, no matter what others may speak or how convincing it may seem; may we always listen to His invitation to hear “…but I say.”