I was really hesitant to post this, but I feel compelled given the nature of the lesson learned. (Warning: This could possibly be offensive to those with a religious sensitivity.) Please bear with me. Whether you are a Biblical scholar or have no regard for religion, I think you could find this unorthodox lesson strangely intriguing, oddly humorous, and possibly even a little disgusting. My apologies in advance.
First, let me just say, as I mentioned in my blog entitled God and Mr. Miyagi, that God sometimes uses unorthodox ways to teach a lesson or to make a point. As an example, the prophet Ezekiel was instructed to bake some bread over a fire fueled by human excrement, but when he pleaded with God not to make him do such a detestable thing, God allowed him to use cow dung instead, which actually was a common practice. The excrement was to symbolize the defiled bread His people would eat in the coming judgment. (Ezekiel 4)
Secondly, if you have read some of my previous posts from this blog, as well as my first blog Sweet Capture Photography, you will have gotten the sense that I do not believe in the doctrine of cessation, meaning the sign gifts ceased with the canonization of Scripture. Not only that, but I believe God still communicates to us through dreams and by other means. I do believe, however, that any message that comes through dreams, visions, or signs must not contradict His written and revealed Word.
Did you know the Bible contains a ‘cuss word’? If you know me, you know I don’t use foul language, so I do not reveal this lightly. The Greek word skubalon is used only once in the entire Bible, but the meaning and usage of the word can be found in historical documents and literature of the same time period. Paul used the word in Philippians 3:8 when expressing the worthlessness of his former pedigree when compared to knowing and serving Christ. The word skubalon is translated as dung in the KJV and as refuse, rubbish, and garbage in other translations, but in our vernacular today, it is equivalent to shit or crap. Seriously. Do the research yourself, if you don’t believe me.
Is that the lesson I learned? No, I’m still getting to that. Can you tell I’m hesitating?
Ok… [heavy sigh]… this is so embarrassing. I’m sure everyone who uses a western-style toilet has experienced this, but you know when you use the toilet and flush but one piece of poop doesn’t go down so you have to flush again? Well, that kept happening to me over and over and over again for over a week to the point of being ridiculous, and I finally asked, “God, are you trying to tell me something?” Seriously.
After a lot of prayer, study, a heavy conversation with my daughter, and more prayer and reflection, I believe I received an answer. I could be wrong, but I believe the Holy Spirit has been trying to convict me of sometimes caring more about what people think of me than what God thinks of me. So, I confess that as sin. I believe God was trying to reveal the uncleanness in me, while at the same time saying, “What people think of you is skubalon compared to what I think of you, so don’t worry about it.” That doesn’t give me license to act foolishly and arrogantly and not worry about what others think, but it does give me the freedom to not worry if I am accepted by man, especially by pious people, from which I myself am recovering. More importantly, it also gives me the freedom to live in the light of God’s love and acceptance.