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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Whoa vs Woe

Do you tell everyone you meet what Jesus has done for you?  No, me neither. 
Do you wait for that just-right-moment before bringing it up?  Well, of course. 
And how often does that just-right-moment come up?  Well, I mean, if you’re going to get technical…
For if I [merely] preach the Gospel, that gives me no reason to boast, for I feel compelled of necessity to do it. Woe is me if I do not preach the glad tidings (the Gospel).                                                                                                                                               1 Corinthians 9:16 (AMP)
What I get from this verse is that we should be compelled to weave the Gospel throughout our normal, everyday conversations, and that we should be doing it in a normal, everyday way.
I struggle with this one a lot.  I want to be able to throw in a praise or two for Jesus, but it just sounds so pious and snooty.  Like “you don’t got what I got.”  Even to other professing Christians, it’s the same thing.  Like “I know you got it, but I got it better.”
That’s what it sounds like in my ears.  It’s not what I’m thinking.  I want to come across as genuine.  I want to be genuine.
Do you know what regret is?  Yeah, me too.  The I shoulda, coulda, woulda thoughts that go round and round in my head. 
In the above passage, Paul says “Woe is me.”  Woe, although it’s pronounced like the overused “whoa,” does not have a positive meaning to it.  It’s a negative, such as sadness and misery.  And regret.
I wonder if Paul ever had regrets as he waited out his sentence in the Roman prisons.  I wonder if he ever laid awake at night and thought, “Gee, I wish I had today to do over again.  I wasted so many opportunities to talk about the Good News.”
It’s certainly a subject that I should be losing sleep over.  Anybody with me on this?
But the Good News that Paul speaks of is truly good, because we get another chance to get it right.  Every day is a new day, time to try it again, to practice what God wants us to do.
If anyone has reason to regret, it’s God Himself, for creating these wimpy, self-centered creatures.  But He doesn’t regret because He cannot.  It’s not His nature.  He sees us every single second of our lives and He rejoices in us. 
Good News?  Wow!  We may want to amend that to read GREAT News!
Photo Courtesy of Cindy West McGregor