Somehow this thought from the past seemed especially appropriate this month. :-)
Sept. 25, 2008
A False Gift
Earlier this month Hurricane Ike hit the coast of Texas near Houston. At first they were predicting all kinds of possible "weather" around Austin. We might get rain, high wind, and whatever other things a hurricane might throw our way. Excitement! Speculation! Preparations! As it turned out, we had clouds and some mild wind, but we didn't get a drop of much-needed rain.
Pondering on this I thought of the verse that speaks of "clouds and wind without rain." It reminded me of how people will make a big deal over some evangelist or speaker and we will come to expect something extraordinary from them, yet how often when we finally get the "delivery" it is as empty of anything life-giving or of refreshment as "Ike" was for us.
The verse turned out to be Proverbs 25:14, Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain. In thinking of this, let us be cautious not to boast for ourselves, our family or others, indicating that we or they have gifts and abilities that are not there. It is very disappointing to people when one says, "Oh yes, I can do this or that...." or; "This is a wonderful preacher...." or; "My family always blah, blah, blah;" and they then find out it is not true.
In the end we were very thankful that we didn't get the kind of "weather" that a lot of people received from Ike! But for me, here in a place that remained dry, the lesson held true. In my experience, the two most graphic examples in our culture of false boasting are among politicians and religious/Christian leaders. Beware when people boast that they or that someone else has a special gift from God. Beware when politicians boast of what they will do or what they are.
Psalms 34:2 My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. 3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.