There was a king of Judah in ancient Israel whose name was Amaziah. We are told (2 Chronicles 25 v1) that he did what was right, but his heart was not loyal before the Lord, or that he did what was right in the Lord's sight but "not completely." This reminds me of how we can say what seem like all the right things, but still be off base, so to speak. We can say the right things but something can still be missing. We can do and say the right things but perhaps with a wrong attitude or in the wrong spirit. Those who are spiritually discerning will know the difference. Jesus sheds light on this phenomenon for us when he says, "For Whatever the Father does, the Son also does these things IN THE SAME WAY (in like manner.)" (John 5, v19) He not only did WHAT the Father did, but he did it the WAY he saw his Father doing it, as sons are inclined to do. Just watch children as they walk, just watch their gestures or pronunciation, and see how close they are to those of the ones they have been observing from day to day. The influence is profound and undeniable when father and son or parents and children spend enough time together. But if they don't spend much time together we may find them doing the same or similar things in a much different way. The right that Amaziah did was NOT reflective of the way his God did things, because it's apparent he did not seek sufficiently the presence of his God. Yesterday I was driving my standard shift car. The time came to shift gears as we gathered speed but when I shifted there was a grinding sound. I did the right thing by shifting gears. I even did it at the right time, but I did it in the wrong way, which resulted in that awful grinding noise. I knew better than to shift that way, but I suffered a rare lapse in the performance of that particular driving skill. If I made a habit of shifting that incorrect way, it would be damaging to the gear mechanisms and the car would soon need repair by a knowledgeable mechanic. So doing and saying the right things in the wrong ways can do all kinds of damage to ourselves, to others and to our testimonies before God and before an observant world. In a way, I would rather not be speaking from so much experience!
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