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|Thursday, June 23, 2022|
A wooden deck is a thing of beauty. But neither wood nor beauty last. Hence, I found myself in the 100-degree heat, replacing a number of cracked deck boards.
In some cases, the warp and wear were apparent. Yet as I fastened new boards next to old, I was caught off guard. Several pieces that looked perfectly good on the surface turned out to have significant problems: rot.
Previously, I had slathered on the best stain/sealer the hardware store sells. And they looked perfectly healthy. But just beneath the surface, I found tunnels of hollowness. Worse, I could crush this wood with my bare fingers, disintegrating it into shards of would-be lumber. (Impossible to miss the left side of the photo).
Again, I thought I had solid wood. I thought I had worked hard to preserve the health of that pricey lumber. And from all appearances, everything was fine. Dripping sweat in the summer sun, I stared at all that rot, pondering the additional work it represented.
How very like the human heart. So many of us look good on the outside: strong, spiritually healthy, "reasonably" godly. But inside, we have rotted away.
Maybe we’ve shortchanged our daily time in the Word. Maybe we've cooled off our church attendance or our time in prayer. Maybe we've dabbled with an addiction. Or danced at the outer edges of pornography.
All of this leads to one thing—and that one thing ain't good: spiritual rot. Which is absolutely guaranteed apart from a vigilant commitment to maintenance. It’s not that it could happen or might happen. It WILL happen.
So, where’s our protection? How do we guard against spiritual rot? From personal experience, David shared his secret in a prayer recorded in Psalm 25:21, “May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you.”
Apparently, David placed extraordinary value on integrity and uprightness. So much so that his prayer for these twin virtues rarely ceased from his lips.
A vigilant commitment to integrity and uprightness in your soul. Neither of these is flashy or fun. But, as Jesus famously asked, “What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?”
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