Thought for the week

The Oban Times - - Births, Marriages & Deaths - Archie McPhail

RELATIONSHIP coun­sel­lors of­ten hear the ex­pres­sion ‘not com­pat­i­ble’. Peo­ple’s at­ti­tudes and ways can be so dif­fer­ent they feel they have noth­ing in com­mon. And one of them walks out or tells the other to leave. Once that has hap­pened not many peo­ple try to make it up. Trans­fer that thought to our relationship with God. It’s been a long time since western so­ci­ety (by and large) told God to leave. Our at­ti­tudes to ethics were in­com­pat­i­ble. Our at­ti­tude to him made co­op­er­a­tion im­pos­si­ble. It has given a feel­ing of be­ing free from his eth­i­cal con­straints. Equally, we have for­feited his com­mit­ment to care for us. The last thing we ex­pect is to hear him say, ‘Re­turn to me, and I will re­turn to you.’ It was the Prophet Malachi who penned these words, prob­a­bly around 400 BC. He was writ­ing to peo­ple who had turned their back on God, re­mind­ing them they could no longer ex­pect his pro­tec­tion. ‘Where was God when …?’ was not a valid com­plaint. Nev­er­the­less God was say­ing to them, ‘Re­turn to me, and I will re­turn to you.’ It is a word for to­day. And there lies our hope when we face ex­tra­or­di­nary chal­lenges. It’s true for the in­di­vid­ual; it’s true for so­ci­ety. In hu­man re­la­tion­ships re­turn­ing in­volves con­tact­ing the other per­son, lis­ten­ing to what they say, per­haps chang­ing our ways. It in­volves tak­ing time and be­ing will­ing to do what­ever is nec­es­sary. It’s the same with God. So let’s read his Bi­ble, lis­ten­ing, and fol­low­ing his ways. Through Christ Je­sus he has opened his door for us.

If we re­turn to God, he will re­turn to us. Then we will be com­pat­i­ble, and know his care, guid­ance and sup­port.

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