Yesterday someone (and I have a couple of shrewd guesses whom) searched for my blog under “Edge Induced Contusion.” A contusion, of course, is a bruise. I know quite a few people who have gotten edge induced contusions from taking on this blog (and blogger) and showing themselves worse for the wear. Given that it is a Holy Day today (the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost), I would like to examine how to avoid getting an edge induced contusion on God’s Holy Days.
Step One: Don’t bang your limbs against any tables.
Let us not forget that Psalm 23:5 says that God has prepared a table for us in the presence of our enemies, and anointed our head with oil (see Psalm 133:2–it is the oil of priesthood that ran down the beard of Aaron). Our cup runneth over. Surely those who consider themselves to be my enemies have edge induced contusions because they have been banging their arms and legs against the table upset at God’s sure provision. Surely such a man as I cannot be speaking the truth, they sniff to themselves in private e-mails and phone calls. And yet they continue to come on my blog, and continue to make libels against me.
Some of those libels and attempts at pressure have been posted on this blog already, and I need not repeat them here. Nonetheless, all of them have, as lies do, reflected far more poorly on the people who have made such lies than they have on the person they have lied about. As said David in Psalm 23:6: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” If you don’t want edge induced contusions, stop banging yourself against God’s table and repent, so that you need no longer be my enemy.
Step Two: Avoid sharp objects you don’t know how to use.
“Today, if you will enter His rest, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness” is how Psalm 95:7-8 and Hebrews 3:7-8 describe the punishment set out for the rebellious people of Israel whose carcasses were strewn about the wilderness for their rebellion against God. The author of Hebrews explicitly tells us to profit from their example (as I have commented on numerous times in this blog–it is a particularly favorite passage of mine). The second step to avoid edge induced contusions is to avoid sharp objects that you don’t know how to use.
What sharp objects might those be? Here’s one, from the author of Hebrews: “Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lst anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”
Let us understand this passage well. It is all well and good that we should want to wield the sword of the word. It is, after all, the only offensive weapon we have in the armor of God (see Ephesians 6:10-20). Nonetheless, let us note that we cannot simply go around clubbing our enemies about with this sword, even if they deserve it, without recognizing that the Sword of God also strikes against ourselves. We are all accountable before God, and must answer for every word we say (and write), and therefore those of us who are in the position of wielding the sword of the word (myself most definitely included) ought to first examine our own thoughts and intents before attacking other people with our words. We would avoid a lot of edge induced contusions if we actually used the sword of the word properly, rather than as just another blade to cut someone down, as I heard a minister say very wisely in a presentation at the Louisville Winter Family Weekend this past year. This is as true for me as it is for anyone else–the standard of scripture is fair and balanced, and God is no respecter of persons. Let us not be either. The last thing we want is for us to be cutting and bruising ourself because we use God’s word unwisely.
Step Three: Seek urgent medical care.
In the event that, despite all your best planning, you find yourself getting an edge induced contusion because God set a table for your enemy in your presence or because you improperly used the sword of the word and it backfired on you, there is one further step you can take to ensure your good health–a steady diet of confession for your sins and the prayer of the faithful on your behalf.
For so James advices those who are sick in James 5:15-16: “And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” And so it does. If anyone wishes to confess to me of their trespasses made against me, confess them to me and I will pray to our heavenly Father that you will be forgiven. For why should anyone enter into condemnation because of malice in their hearts towards someone such as myself? I would wish no one to be my enemy, if there was any way they could be my friend.