James 1:2-6 (NIV) — “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”

During these “hunker down times,” like you, I have my own thoughts and heard those of many others. I’ve seen some very good and practical procedures put into practice, and I’ve also seen and heard the effects of the careless and the fanatical.

For me the practical procedures build confidence, while the promotion of fear, not so much.

Ha ha ha — imagine what I saw; a person wearing the recommended PPE’s (personal protective equipment) mask below the nose, protective gloves going from pumping gas to the local grocery store within a five-minute period, apparently wearing the same PPE’s. (I happened to be there and going to and from there at the same time).

All I could say was, “Jiminy Cricket!”

You know the song from Pinocchio? “When you get in trouble, and you don’t know right from wrong, give a little whistle! Give a little whistle! Not just a little squeak, pucker up and blow, and if your whistle is weak, yell Jiminy Cricket! Take the straight and narrow path, and if you start to slide, give a little whistle! Give a little whistle! And always let your conscience be your guide.”

There’s a saying, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” 

Jiminy Cricket! … you just don’t know.

In our opening Scripture passage there are several items that stand out to me:

• Brothers and Sisters (we’re in this together)

• Face trials of many kinds

• Testing of your faith

• If any of you lack wisdom, you should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault.

Proverbs 9:10 tells us: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy one is understanding.”

Proverbs 1:7: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and understanding.”

Perhaps in regard to fear of the Lord, using the word “revered” may provide a clearer purpose, reverence meaning a deep respect. This is a healthy fear.

May we be of good conscience ... I close with a Hollywood quote:

 “Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright that God may love thee. Speak the truth always, even if it means your death. Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong. That is your oath. ‘SMACK’ and that’s so you remember it.” (Kingdom of Heaven — Kingdom of Conscience)


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