Contemplative Bible Reading

Some thoughts about Bible verses

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The Outside and the Inside

September 10th, 2017 · No Comments

Joel 2:13 (New Living Translation)

Don’t tear your clothing in your grief,
    but tear your hearts instead.”
Return to the Lord your God,
    for he is merciful and compassionate,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
    He is eager to relent and not punish.

At the time and place of the prophet Joel, people tore their clothes as a sign of grief. Their torn clothing signified the rip in their lives that had occurred in some way or another.

Well, as we often do, persons had come to abuse this form of showing grief. Perhaps something happens that should break my heart, but I’m not too broken up about it. After all, if those other people were hard working and worthwhile and smart and clever like me and all sorts of other things…they wouldn’t be in bad shape and I wouldn’t have to feign grief over them. So…I’ll put on a shirt that I was about to toss in the Salvation Army bin and tear it a little so everyone can see that I am expressing the obligatory amount of grief. Aren’t I a good person? Huh?

And God will only see the surface like the persons around me and…ooops. God will see into my heart and know that I am putting on a show and don’t really care about those folks who should have been good like me and all that selfish stuff. Funny how God can see inside me and tell when I am putting on a show.

Sorry folks. Sorry me. God wants true grief when grief is appropriate. God wants true concern for my fellow man. God wants the truth in my life. Please God, help me in my unbelief.

Tags: Joel · Old Testament

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