May 16, 2013
I’ve always loved fountain pens. There’s something about the way the way ink settles on fine paper, creating a flowing picture to enhance the words. (My handwriting has never been picturesque, but a fountain pen always seemed to make it look better).
A couple years ago I gave up using my favorite pen. It’s not that my admiration for finely-crafted pens had diminished; my pen’s point began dispensing too much ink at some points and too little at others. In the “too much department” the lines on the paper became blobs, and obscured the beauty (if not the message) of my words. “Bleeding-over” is the way ink migrates when there is too much, and must spread out; it chooses its own path and the puddles usually aren’t pretty!
Jesus’ warning about “idle words” sometimes falls in this “bleed-over” category. He was issuing a warning against religious leaders who were attempting to thwart his ministry, not blasting those who believed-in and followed him. We can be hyper-sensitive about judgment themes, taking on warnings about idle words and past sins never intended for believers. I tend to do this whenever I read passages about judgment for sin. I immediately run it through my grid to see if I need to confess anything.
Now, that’s good, but sometimes I spend so much time worrying I’ve offended holy God, the “bleed-over” I experience is a sense of constant fear and worry, rather than joy and contentment in relationship with my wonderful Savior. Jesus died so I could be forgiven, and in right relationship with the Father...not so I would spend my life in abject fear and condemnation.
It’s a balancing act to keep a right sense of respect and reverence for God’s majesty and holiness, held in tension against the warm welcome of being forgiven and free. But that is a balancing act well worth the effort.
Today, keep a good balance between reverence and rejoicing; don’t let judgment day bleed over on what God has forgiven!