July 6

Amos 7:10-15

“Then Amos answered Amaziah, ‘I am no prophet, nor a prophet’s son; but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore trees, and the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, “Go, prophesy to my people Israel.”’”

As might be expected Amos’ message had not gone over well with the religious leaders of Israel. He was from Judah, and when he stirred up the poor against the rich in Israel, the high priest told him to take his message back to his homeland. In general that’s how it is with people. We don’t like to be criticized by outsiders. Whether it be in regard to our families, politics, or religion we’d just as soon that critics keep their noses out of our business. The sad result of that attitude is that we just keep on worshipping our old idols and making the same foolish mistakes over and over again. Really, it’s the people who aren’t captive to our system, culture, or theology who can offer the keenest insights about where we’ve gone astray and what we might do to get back on track again. Occasionally through history, such persons have been listened to, but most often they’re ignored. People would rather fight bloody civil wars than change their slavish ways. Blessed are those who open their ears to outsiders, reflect on what they hear, and then change what needs to be changed! After all, as any fool can attest, change is not a four letter word!

Thought for the Day: Why do we resist the advice of outsiders?

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