Thursday, September 20, 2007

don't take the bait

Sometimes in life it's like a bait all the sudden is cast in front of you, and we grab hold of it only to find the hooks with the worm and we're painfully caught. We have to be ready for this at the most unexpected times. It just hits us, often our own thoughts, and we act on it.

Better oftentimes to refuse to act on it. Don't say what we're thinking or make a sudden and maybe rash decision or give in to an impulse. It's not fun to have to apologize or take it back or work out of what might become a compulsion. Though there may be a time where what we did and the tussle that follows can work out for good. But most often all too much of ourselves is in it, and not enough of the Jesus Creed. And that creed includes some difficult items like loving, praying for and doing good to our enemies and blessing those who curse us.

Key for me here is to recognize this as a time to be silent or stop myself and pray. Usually just a short time gets me past this lure, and oftentimes problems avoided can move us towards a solution on the issue, or keeps me from making a new problem as we seek in all things by grace to follow Jesus.

What have you learned about this? Or what might you add?


odysseus said...


Good words of wisdom here. I am reminded of Einstein. As you know, he was a pipe smoker. I have read that he never answered a question before puffing on his pipe. This would give him just a pause to contemplate a thought or an answer. It is that little pause that I think is the key. When the temptation comes, just give a pause and ask for the Grace of God.

Something else to consider is when people disagree with me, it's not to be taken personally (most of the time). It is the idea that someone may find difficult.

So, before we make any rash decisions or statements that we will regret later, just remember that the conflict is not personal. We will need to say a small prayer most of the time.

Oh, and if you have the wherewithall, puff on your pipe.


Peace be with you.

+ OD

Anonymous said...

thank you brother, this is a very good post. i will think on this.

Ted M. Gossard said...

OD, Hey, I don't think pipe smoking is that uncommon around here where's there's plenty of Dutch and Reformed people. If I were with you, maybe you'd convince me to try a puff or two.

Thanks for your words of counsel. If I would have done that a good number of times, I would have avoided sin better, along with the downward emotions that go with it- not to mention the consequences- though thankfully there's always confession, grace and forgiveness, as you say.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy, Thanks. I need to keep thinking and working on this as well, sister.

Anonymous said...

Ted - I am reminded of an adage I loathe -- "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission." Those who say this are usually the bait takers, and often even the bait layers. They want to act without thinking, cleaning things up after the fun. Oh the peace that comes, as you have aptly described, from choosing to do the right thing when we have the choice.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Charity, Good to hear from you. Interesting adage that maybe or maybe not, I have heard. A sad world but sin twists things for us all. And it's so much better all the way around if we just would avoid the bait to begin with. As soon as we know better, we need to stop dead in our tracks.

Ted M. Gossard said...

A good question to ask here is what happens when we're on the hook and can't get off? And the harder we try, the worse it seems we're hooked on, along with the pain and numbness that goes with it.

Anonymous said...

i don't know much about fishing. normally, if one has a hook stuck in your finger..what do you do..push it on through, or go to the doctor?

i agree with your answer... the key that is good for silent and not fight it. use Gods word and blessings upon our enemy.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy, I've fished only here and there, mostly there. So I don't know much about fishing either.

I think people just try to remove the hook. If it's bad enough I'd imagine one would have to get stitches.

Yes, we must love; it is God who avenges those who do evil against us, though we hope for their salvation.

Anonymous said...

i think the power of Love.
the Love of God.
spoken to the person that is being led by the enemy...

is God's way of getting through to the person.

it is a lifeline.

it is not us just being kind,
it is God's Power.
so important
so important a lifeline to a drowning soul.
one that may lead the person to Life.

it is what we MUST do as a follower of Christ.

against our nature
but we must realize the importance in the spiritual world and obey.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy, I think you're hitting on something so important here. It is nothing less than the power of God unto salvation you refer to. It is love, but it is nothing less than salvation to those ruined with no hope.

We need to be there for those around us who are in such need, our lives being God's letter of love known and read by everybody.

May God make us, by his grace and power, that.