Wednesday: 1st August, 2018
Reference text: Jeremiah 15:1-10,16-21
Jeremiah 15:19 Therefore thus says the LORD: “If you return, I will restore you, and you shall stand before me. If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as my mouth. They shall turn to you, but you shall not turn to them.
How often have we heard of people who attempted to change others but ultimately ended up becoming one of those they tried to change? Jeremiah was spoken to by God about the possibility of such an occurrence hence, what you might call a warning ‘let them return unto you, but return not to them’.
Two other versions of the concluding part in the text couldn’t have rendered the message any clearer:
‘You must influence them; do not let them influence you!’ and
“They must become as you have been. You must not become like them.”
The reason these words sound like a warning with the use of ‘MUST’ ought to give us an idea of how seriously God considers this possibility and ease with which man can be swallowed up by the things we seek to change.
In fact, we can get so overwhelmed that we opt to succumb and stop fighting. In addition, to justify our decision, we sometimes even attempt to take respite with a misinterpretation of the words of Saint Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:22b ‘ I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some’.
Beloved, don’t confuse ‘understanding’ with ‘participation’, because the moment you think the two as one, there is actually no fight on your hands. You will end up being influenced, instead of influencing, and you will be changed instead of initiating the change you seek.
Remember # in the company of those not right with God, you are to influence, not be influenced.