Misdirected focus, temptation and accountability

If you have ever used a camera that has auto focus capability, you have probably experienced from time to time that the camera picks something other than your intended target to focus in on and you needed to adjust it.  At times our lives are like that.  If we focus on what is going on around us, on our circumstances and what other people are doing and what they think of us, it is easy for our emotions to get the better of us and lead us into temptation.  This happens when we lose sight of God and we need to refocus our spiritual lens on Christ and how he is working in and through us.

Even the man of God, Moses, struggled with this after leading the Israelites out of the land of Egypt.  The Israelites were grumbling and complaining to and about Moses and in his bitterness toward the Israelites, he spoke rashly and pridefully before God.

Ps 106:32 They angered him at the waters of Meribah, and it went ill with Moses on their account, 33 for they made his spirit bitter, and he spoke rashly with his lips.

As a result, he was never able to enter the promised land.  Even though the Israelites were wrong in how they were treating Moses and were responding to the circumstances God allowed them to go through with a sinful attitude, Moses was still responsible for his attitude and was to be held accountable before God.  Just like Moses, we cannot always control the circumstances of our situation and the people around us, but we are accountable for how we react and respond, regardless of the motivation driving our decisions.  The Bible makes it clear that we will all be held accountable before God for all that we do and say.  Jesus spoke in Matthew regarding the words of our mouths and warned of coming judgment.

Mt 12:36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,

The weight of our words is often greater than we are aware of at the time we open our mouths and so often we let things slip out that should remain unsaid.  Our words may not necessarily keep us our of heaven, but they may potentially eliminate the promise of many blessings if we are not careful and selective with our speech.  Words have a nasty way of making a mark in other peoples minds and lives that is not easily washed away.  It is important to remember the voice of the Proverb and think as long and hard as time permits before opening your mouth.  A lesson I find myself personally having to remember and relearn more often than I care to admit.

Ps 17:27 ¶ Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. 28 Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

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