Friday, April 20, 2007

Putting the Lord's Lessons into Action

By Charlotte Lowrie

Since I posted the article, Refined During Times of Testing, a work opportunity came up to test the lessons that I’ve learned in the past two months. This week, I received a call asking if I would help with a project that was in a jam. The call was from a company I’d worked with for years, so I had some loyalty to them.

The good part was that the pay would be nice. The bad part was that the project would ‘silently’ violate a non-conflict contract that I signed with another company. To get around this, the person explained that no one would know that I worked on the project, and, thus no one would know that the contract was violated. Before I could say no, the person asked me to think about it, to sleep on it, and to call back the next day.

Knowing that I would refuse, I mentally reviewed the telephone conversation as I showered, and then I came downstairs to pray. I was anxious to get the Lord's insight.

Precise Words that Ring True

The Lord’s message was that I don’t have to take every project that comes my way. Instead, I should take the work that He sends to me: And I will recognize that work because it will be “pure and guileless.”

I thought about the words of the message. Certainly, I’d heard the word “guileless” from reading the Bible and from childhood sermons. But I had only a vague sense of what the word meant.

The dictionary was close by, so I looked up “guile.” Here is a summary of the most applicable definitions. Guile: insidious, treacherous, cunning, deceit. A trick; stratagem. Wow! That described the situation perfectly. I had always thought of “guile” as being an old-fashioned King-James-type of word that I usually brushed over. Obviously, I was wrong.

While I was at it, I looked up the word “pure.” Here is a summary of the applicable definitions. Pure: free from adulterants or impurities; . . . Free from dirt, defilement, or pollution; clean. Containing nothing inappropriate or extraneous.

It struck me again how the Lord uses language not only concisely, but also with a razor-sharp precision that leaves no room for questions. And Mark 4:22 (NIV) also leaves no room for questions. “For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought into the open.”

The Lord's insight was what I wanted, and He provided it again. I was happy to turn down the offer the next day.

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