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Whole Books or Single Words

One word can get you into a lot of trouble. Walk through the library Today's pastoral care devotional scripture is Revelation 20:12. The National Football League is expected to adopt a 15-yard penalty on players using a particular word.   The use of that word could determine the outcome of an entire game.  Penalties can determine how a game turns out. In our scripture, we see the Final Judgment.  As the Judge makes His determinations, a single word will not be the criteria, but rather whole books. A life is a story.  Some life stories are recorded in several volumes. In life, sadly, people can be judged by one page, sentence, or even a single word out of their story. A chapter does not make a book. A sentence is not the whole paragraph. One word is not the whole sentence. I heard the story of a town drunk getting saved.  He walked the aisle at the end of a sermon and accepted Jesus as his Savior.  He was so excited and asked the parson if he could testify.  He stood before the congregation and said, "Most of ya'll know me.  Well, I just got saved and I am so blankity blank blank blank happy to be a Christian!!!"  After realizing what just came out of his mouth, completely embarrassed, he put his hat on his head and slowly walked out the side door.  The pastor followed him and invited him back into the service.  The pastor said, "Finally, we have somebody that really got something in this place!" A slip of the lip did not take away from the change in this man's life. You and I have seen, or maybe even been guilty, of viewing a person's entire life through the lens of one incident. Let's follow the example of the Judge of all the Earth.  Before making a judgment call, read all the words in the books, not just one. Photo courtesy of Sarah Ross.

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