I’ve been pondering on that little word ALL since the last post. It is a powerful to a covenant my husband and I made before we married.
I’d been raised surrounded with negative and abusive words and thoughts and I wanted to be free from them I took a risk and shared with Ken, whom I’d known only 3 months, how important words were to me and how I felt that all scars don’t show – that words used wrongly can create scars deep within.
Our covenant was to only use eternal words in a positive manner. By eternal words I mean words that suggest unchanging – like all, none, always and never.
So we could say you always do your best, but I could not say you always do things halfway. I’d learned the hard way that eternal words used in a negative manner is a form of accusation (imputation of guilt or blame).
There is but one who can reveal my guilt, and that one (God) is the only one who can, as well, forgive and erase that guilt.
These few verses reveal a high and encompassing calling. They each have a forever word (all) and every time it is used positively.
Rom. 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
This verse recognizes that in this world it will not be possible to be at peace with all men because we cannot control the will of others. But, it still retains the positive response I need to have to ALL men that if a resolution depends on me, I am commanded to be at peace with all. No exclusions. Painfully hard some days.
Rom. 13:7 Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.
This one is easier because it is honesty based on what is due whomever I am dealing with. No tax evasion – it is the law and it is due. Custom to those whom appropriate. Fear only to God, and honor oft-times to title, or office if I cannot honestly honor the individual.
Rom. 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
One would think that this would be an easy one, but I am often a fickle, complaining, or whining bride. ALL joy and ALL peace in believing. That means not being anxious for anything for there is no joy or peace in worry. How is this possible?
Eph. 4:31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
1Cor. 16:14 Let all that you do be done in love.
Urban Dictionary Definitions
Bitterness is an emotion which encompasses both anger and hate. A feeling of deep anger and resentment.
Wrath – extreme anger – rage – ire – fury – passion
Anger – A strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility AND it also means to provoke someone else to those feelings.
Clamor – A loud and confused noise, esp. that of people shouting vehemently. To shout loudly and insistently.
Slander – making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation.
Malice – The intention or desire to do evil; ill will. Doing something in spite. Wrongful intention, esp. as increasing the guilt.
That’s quite a list isn’t it? Impossible seeming too.
And these bookend verses (because they both start with another important little word – LET) tell us the how of accomplishing these divine guidelines.
1) Realize each action is a choice. Both to do, and to let it go.
2) Ask myself if I am acting in love.
3) Know that such behavior is impossible on our own, but there is hope.
These words were not penned to discourage us, just as we did not make our covenant for any purpose but protection and preservation of our relationship. It was done in love.
Similarly, these words assure us that we are understood; God knows all of this is in us, and the struggle – that is God is working in us to put away all of the evil emotions.
If we will LET him take ALL, then we will conquer all.
Matt. 19:26 And looking upon them Jesus said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”