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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Almost Right Is Totally Wrong

I have recently started going to the YMCA. My wife and I have been members for years but, while she was at her aquasize class, I rode my bicycle and just didn't frequent the Y. Recently I noticed that my upper muscles are getting a bit flabby and decided to try one of their programs to tone up. I made an appointment with a trainer and had him explain each of the machines I would need to use to accomplish my goals. He set the machines for my height, leg, arm length and amount of weight and showed me how to do the exercises correctly.

Now I log in to a main kiosk and each machine. It measures my range of motion, weight being lifted, number of reps and number of sets. It even tells me which machine to go to next. I don't have to remember a thing. (except my login number)

The computer does not count a rep if I do not go to the maximum lift. It tells me if I am going to fast. It tells me to stop letting the weights touch if I go to low. It counts each rep and tells me when I have reached my target. I am careful to do the exercises slowly to reach the goal of doing them correctly.

I notice that most of the other people do not do as I do. They do not lift to the maximum or as a low as they should go. They pump them as fast as they can. I am wondering why they would want to do the exercises incorrectly. No one makes them come to the Y. Why shouldn't they get the maximum benefit of the exercises?

Do people want to say they have done something without really doing it correctly? Are they more interested in getting it over with than doing it right? Are they more interested in short cuts than doing what needs to be done?

I believe the answer is yes to each of these questions. People want to say they have done things correctly. They want to think so as well. They, therefore, make excuses when they don't get the results they were expecting.

People do this with God too. They often come to me and tell me of the tragedy in their lives. They claim they have been faithful to God. They blame Him for their tragedy. They ask why He would allow this to happen when they have been so good.

I don't believe God acts that way. I don't think He slaps the bad and pats the good. I believe He uses the good and the bad to create a person of faith. However, not only is their theology messed up but their memory is too. They haven't been as faithful as they claimed.

For example, they will tell me that they haven't missed a Sunday all year when our records indicate they were at church thirty-five times during the past year. I'll admit they were present more than they were absent but they still missed seventeen times. That's hardly perfect attendance. They will tell me that they have tithed but our records indicate that they have given $844 for the whole past year. We should be helping them out if this is a tithe.

Somehow they think that almost right is totally right. (Don't ever hire one of these people to do your taxes!)

Almost means you didn't do what you were supposed to do. If you almost caught the bus; you missed it. If you almost apologized; you didn't. If you were almost obedient; you weren't.

So, when God tells you to do something and you almost did it; you didn't.

Look up the whole story of the following scripture. You'll see what I mean.

1 Samuel 15:19-22 (NIV)
19 Why did you not obey the LORD? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the LORD?" 20 "But I did obey the LORD," Saul said. "I went on the mission the LORD assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. 21 The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the LORD your God at Gilgal." 22 But Samuel replied: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.


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Royce said...

This one must have special meaning...I just read that scripture yesterday morning...