When I was in elementary school, one of my favorite days was backwards day. It was so fun to see how many ways you could do stuff backwards. Of course we would be very silly with it, which was why it was my favorite day.
We would wear our clothes backwards, walk backwards, and even try to talk backwards. For elementary school kids, it's one of the funniest days of the year. Of course, it would only last one day and then everything would be back to normal. And good thing too!
Doing everything backwards is fun for a little bit, but then you realize just how difficult it is. Pretty soon, you realize that things like writing, walking, and even going to the bathroom 😳, are immeasurably more difficult when you do them backwards. That's because there is a certain way things are designed to work, and when you reverse it, it can cause all sorts of problems...and messes.
Sometimes I've been guilty of playing "Backwards Day" with things in God's Word. For instance, these verses in James are pretty straight forward...
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. (James 1:19-20)
However, I can't count how many times I've lived these verses out "backwards." In my case, I was SLOW to listen, QUICK to speak, and EVEN QUICKER to become angry. Call it the curse of the red-head, TnT syndrome, or anything else you want, but the fact is it was completely backwards.
And boy, has it caused some issues in my life. Broken things had to be paid for, friendships were scarred, bad opinions were formed, opportunities lost, etc. But it didn't have to happen that way. I could have done things God's way and avoided all of that.
CHOOSING "FORWARDS" DAY
I can look back now and see very clearly why James' instruction to the early church was so valuable. I can also see, from my own life, how situations could have been different if I had headed these words.
I'm not perfect in this area, but I'm working on it. I'm choosing to practice doing what God's Word says in the right way, "FORWARDS" instead of backwards.
Maybe you don't struggle with anger like I do. Or...maybe you are just like me. Either way, there is something in God's Word that you've tried to do backwards:
Praying last...instead of first
Gossiping...instead of keeping quiet
Judging...instead of loving
Envying...instead of being content
Worrying...instead of trusting
Complaining...instead of thanking
Whatever it is that you're trying to do backwards, make a decision today to change directions. It's going to take some practice to get it right, but it's worth it.
Backwards day is over. It's time for Forwards day.
God, I am sorry for doing things backwards. It's not how You designed it to work, and I want to change directions. I need you to forgive me, and help me walk forward in Your ways. Thank you for the grace to live each day for You. In Jesus name, Amen.