Week 44

Flexibility is marvelous, at appropriate times.  Flexibility when tying my boots is definitely a pro. Flexibility in the stem of a rose is a con, definitely a negative. When a thing is flexible, it may be bent or reshaped, hopefully without breaking. A person that is flexible may be compliant, easy to convince or sway. They waver. Wavering or flexibility is neither good nor bad. It is the circumstance that determines the virtue of flexibili-tea!

The Bible addresses both. The word flexible is not in the Bible in any form, but it is addressed. While I cannot address each circumstance I will share some thoughts on several. 

So many have dietary restrictions today; we need to be flexible where we can. I treat these restrictions the same way as learning that guests do not like certain foods. I adapt. When I serve food to my family or to guests, it is ministry, for blessing with nourishment of body and soul. Flexibility requires paying extra attention to the needs and preferences of others, without judgement, but not without discernment.

We have great flexibility in our clothing. Our clothing, our coverings have the ability to communicate many of our characteristics. Options are nearly unlimited. The Bible does have guidelines, including offering liberty. One guideline that I tend not to bend is that women are not to wear that which pertains to men and vice versa. Women should look like women and within that guideline we have great flexibility!

The Bible does not say much about how we keep our homes, but it does commend women, indeed, to do that; we are the keepers of the home. Surely it is not so important the colors we use, or the style of decor so much as that we “keep the home.” Keeping the home speaks to me of some level of cleanliness and tidiness, creating a place that our family wants to be. The Bible speaks of how terrible it is to be a brawling woman – one that is contentious. A man, and likely his family, would do better to live on the roof than in the house of an angry woman.  Contention can denote both flexibility and inflexibility and I will let you think on that one if you like. 

I think of home as a place to be flexible with your family. In allowing flexibility, we can better exemplify the areas that are not open to flexibility. Biblical principles are more easily shared and received in an environment where some things are very flexible. Negotiable versus non-negotiable.

I let my daughters, Lois and India, choose their own clothing most of the time – talk about flexibility and enjoying the freedom to choose! I shared an undercurrent of general training and today I think they dress very nicely and in truth, almost always did. “Almost always” speaks of sweet memories that make me smile today.

Lois and India were never allowed to tell a lie. I was not flexible about that. There are ways to handle difficult situations without lying; perhaps this is a topic good for another time. I have made a note to consider lying. And that’s the truth!

Flexibility is a lovely thing and can be a gift we give others when the issue at hand is minor. Handling minor issues with flexibility often yields massive gains for the future. 

Flexibility can also be a curse or invite a curse. 

I am inflexible about certain beliefs because they are matters that follow me into eternity. Inflexibility can bring blessing too!

There is no other way to Heaven but through Jesus Christ; He said it Himself.   

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  (John 14:6).  Christians are often rebuked for this inflexible belief. Do other religions not claim the same thing? Because of my inflexible belief that Jesus is God and that the Bible is Holy and wholly inerrant, I can never be flexible enough to say that there is more than one way to Heaven. My faith tells me this; my studies have shown me that there is a slew of science to support my inflexibilities. 

I will always believe that God intended marriage to be between a man and a woman, that the rainbow is a symbol of a covenant between God and humanity and using it as a symbol for any other belief is blasphemy. God will deal with that; in that belief I am inflexible.

I believe that Christians should be part of a local church. A local church enriches individuals and families. I would always choose a church where Bible teaching, the kind that changes lives, is foremost. Strongly believing in the importance of Biblical teaching and lots of it, I am in the church where I am supposed to be.  I am rather inflexible about changing churches. We join a church believing it is God’s will. I don’t think God moves people as much as people move people. We are to take root and grow in a church that feeds our faith and knowledge. These good growing conditions yield a beautiful harvest.

Are you noticing a trend? My stubbornness, my inflexibility is linked to what God’s Word says. My years and experience confirm my thoughts on the times to be flexible and the times it is best to stand firm. For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.  (2 Peter 1:16)

I believe husbands – like churches – are umbrellas. A husband or a church does not have to be right every time. I believe willingness to submit to proper authority is a protective covering to our lives and that God honours appropriate submission.

I firmly believe that women can teach but they are not supposed to pastor churches.  Times change, but I do not believe this principle has. 

As women, we must know what we believe and why. It is good to know in what areas compromise is beneficial and when flexibility will bring about loss and suffering. 

Study of God’s Word has made me less flexible in some areas but greatly increased my flexibility in others. Truly, Jesus set the standard. He always always always hated sin, but always loved the sinner. His visible love allowed Him to teach and love others to all Truth, which is life everlasting.

Oh Lord, help me to be soft and flexible with others, that they may see You in me. Let me not be stiff and rigid. But, Lord, keep me strong and unwavering in the truths of Your Word. Help me to let Your light and love show each time I am inflexible, that your glory will shine light on my reasons. Father, most of all, create within me enough desire and enough flexibility to become more like you. The more I know you the more I love you. In Jesus’ sweet name.  Amen. 

Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion; it is like a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ.  Billy Graham

CRUMPETS:

Today I want to share something I have been “chewing on” the past week or ten days, perhaps one of those truths I will never forget because I heard it from two sources within a very short time frame.