A few weeks back my six year old grandson, Hudson, and I were taking a rest from our “farm work” to do a bit of whittling, using a couple of quite dull pocketknives.  As we sat beside the creek bank under a walnut tree, I explained in great detail that whenever he used a knife that he should always cut away from his body. He got it. He carefully cut away and a lesson was learned.  Sometimes I can be a pretty good teacher. The following Friday afternoon as I was repairing an extension cord, I was using a rather sharp pocketknife to trim the end of the new plug. The knife slipped and gave me a gash that required four stitches. The second I saw the blood, my mind flashed back to our conversation under the walnut tree. That night Hudson looked me in the eyes and said, “Paw-Paw you should never cut toward yourself”.

Talk is easy. The doing is the hard part. Throughout the New Testament Jesus gives us much “under the walnut tree” advice: Do not commit adultery,  lie, cheat, hate, envy, worry, make stuff too important,  hold onto grudges, etc. Jesus was also very clear about some things we should do: Love and forgive everybody, including the people who have done you wrong. Make God the only god in your life. Be humble, merciful,  honest, reconciling, etc.

When we ignore any of Jesus’ wisdom, we are always cutting toward ourselves and it is only  a matter of time until the ouch will come. Yet, there is no injury you have ever inflicted on yourself or someone else that Jesus can’t repair with his stitches of grace, mercy and forgiveness.

Something to Think About

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