Some years ago, a good friend of mine became excited over the health benefits of hydrogen peroxide. He claimed only a couple of drops per day would produce super health and vigor. From my meager understanding of chemistry this didn’t make much sense.  However, the thing that really puzzled me is that he was 150 pounds overweight. He died before he was 60 from a heart attack.

We humans have an amazing propensity to “minor on majors and major on minors.” Yeshua alludes to this tendency in Matthew 23: 23-24, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!”

Note that Yeshua was not criticizing them for their attention to minutiae. His reproof concerned the upside-down emphasis. In other words, make sure you take care of the big things and then take a look at the small things. When you encounter a homeless person on the verge of hypothermia you take them in, feed them, give them warm clothes, and allow them to recover. As wonderful as “the four spiritual laws” may be, a person freezing to death has needs that take priority over having a religious tract explained to them in detail.

As I walk these 40 days this year, one of my prayers is to follow the Ruach in focusing on the “weighty” matters. Am I exhibiting the fruits of the Ruach in my day-to-day life? Am I kind? Is my immediate family blessed by my love and patience, my concern for their welfare, or do they avoid me because I am irritable and short-tempered?

If we have planted the seeds of Torah in the fertile soil of our hearts, the fruit of the Ruach will grow and produce a good harvest. These days of change are a great opportunity to take a self-check and see if we are “straining out gnats but swallowing camels.” May these days afford us the opportunity to be conformed to the image of the Son.

John M Conrad

BYNA Elder

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