Wednesday, January 3, 2018

put your best foot forward -- part 1

The Word for today:
2 Corinthians 8:16-9:15
mark this:
Each one must give as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7)
and this:
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)
One of the most beautiful words in the language is complement. (Notice that this is not about saying nice things to somebody. That's a compliment, with an i.)
Complement derives from the word complete. It means something that was once lacking is made whole. The concept of the complement forms the basis for procreation, for marriage, and for the church--so I'd say it's not only beautiful but important!
The complement of my life (and the love of my life!) is Shelley. Where I lack, she doesn't. I might have the ways, but she has the means. I might have the zig, but she has the zag.
Even biologically, I've got the why and she's got the wherefore. (I hope I said that right.)
So I'm just not myself without her. It says so way back in the second chapter of the Bible:
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)
The benefits of this plan are many, and many-splendored. When we implement the concept of complement, we can negate many weaknesses and turn them into strengths. For example, where the Bible says that "God loves a cheerful giver," I used to feel left out. I am, on my own, just like this guy:
"Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner!" (1)
But the Shellster is the absolute opposite; her first impulse is to shovel the money that comes in the front door out the back door.
So what we do is put our best foot forward, which in the case of giving would be Shelley. And -- here's the concept to remember -- I get credit in God's eyes for being a cheerful giver. How great is that! Because she's my complement, God gives me a compliment that I don't deserve. He sees the two as one (see above) and credits her right-ness, in this regard, to my account.
And while Shelley majors in grace, I major in truth. First of all, I study--hard and unceasingly--to know what truth is. Then I'll tell it, without blinking, to paupers, pastors, presidents, potentates, principalities, and powers! So when the moment calls for someone who's not shy, I'm that guy.
So between the two of us, when we lean on each other's strengths, we manage to reflect the whole apple (of God's eye), who is (you'll recognize the name) this guy:
For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:17)
Marriage, then, is a complementary relationship, meant to express the best of both.
Tomorrow, we'll see how the church is designed to be an even more intricate and beautiful orchestration of complementary parts.
(1) from "A Christmas Carol," Charles Dickens

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