“Do not put yourself forward in the king’s presence or stand in the place of the great, for it is better to be told, “Come up here,” than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.” – Proverbs 25:6-7
If there is a skill to be mastered by us all, it is that we should endeavor to know our place. Salvation occurs when a person sees where they stand with God, knows that this standing is located in the cross-hairs of His judgment, hears that rescue is available through the work of Jesus Christ, cries out for mercy and deliverance from God, and consequently receives a new standing in grace. Both the lost and the redeemed should be convinced of where they stand before God. We do well to know our place with Him.
On a different level, it is extremely helpful to know our place with one another. There are boundaries in our lives and the lives of others that we must recognize. These boundaries are both scriptural and relational. We might call them boundaries of respect – I am not allowed to intrude into your life at those times when you have not invited me in. We could also call them boundaries of authority – children are not to be permitted to presumptuously instruct parents in those things beyond a child’s frame of understanding. What about boundaries of privacy? Do you feel entitled to scrutinize the life of another? Who told you that this was your right? Friends, we are not to presume to have access into one another’s lives in all things that hold our curiosity. Scripture certainly teaches us that we are accountable to one another, but it is profitable for us to understand that this is not a carte blanche which we are to use to intrude into any area we please within the life of another. It has occurred to me more than once that only God Himself is omniscient, the only One who knows all things about every one of us.
Perhaps God ordained this issue of omniscience to be His alone because He knew that you and I are not equipped to handle full knowledge about others. Perhaps He knows that He is able to reveal what He wants, when He wants, about whom He wants to whom He wants. Perhaps we don’t have enough time to be fruit inspectors of one another when we are commissioned to be planters, waterers and reapers in His field. Or maybe God’s sole proprietorship of omniscience had a much more simple purpose; maybe He wants us to know that some things are simply none of our business, and that we cannot give a profitable account of our own lives at the final call if we have spent our days on earth inspecting the lives of others. It was a monumental time in my life when I found the relief of not having to keep everyone else straight. It freed me up to focus on the places where God most certainly will hold me accountable. Let us police our own hearts and lives with the light of the Gospel. Let us find joy in leaving others to our great God. Let neither you nor I spend any more of our days in suspicion, fear or manipulative control of others. By the way, don’t allow anyone for a second to mistakenly believe that they are dispatched to play the part of the Holy Spirit in your own life. You are not obligated to give them an hour if you are living in the will of your God. Don’t reward their presumption with your submission. Pursue righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost for these are the things that characterize the Kingdom of God. Know your place and continue to meet God there for this will be the place of your peace and your joy.
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