Bath Water and Babies

David Ruis, May 8, 2024, 8:30 PM
David Ruis National Director
Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater - Wikipedia

In the midst of all that we're navigating right now, from the relentless emergence of AI to the seeming unraveling and deconstruction of pretty much everything that we have leaned on for some sense of certainty and stability, let's not, as they say, "lose the baby with the bath water."

Whether outwardly expressed or not, any reactionary response will have at its core a measure of a violent riposte. Imagine tossing a tub of water so forcibly, that amidst the inevitable shower that ensues, a baby is being hurled into the air and tossed aside. That takes some effort, let alone a complete lack of awareness of what was actually in the tub in the first place!

We're all worn a bit thin right now, but with measured reflection, spiritual direction and healthy practices, I think we can do better.

Worship. Wait. Weigh.

With a lean into community and not isolation; to a healthy centre and away from the gnositc fringe; tucked into safe, robust accountability, we can, and will find shalom. Though the times seem to foster only chaos, a lack of discrimination and ill-judged decision making, we can discern. We can walk the path of wisdom. We can be in sync with that which is eternal, engaging in God's will on earth as it is in heaven.

Worship. Wait. Weigh.

Let's do a bit of a textual mash up here that may help us move from processing in a way that is less reactionary and to one which is more proactive and preventive. More hopeful. More prophetic.

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
1 John 4:1 (NIV)

Don't suppress the Spirit, and don't stifle those who have a word from the Master. On the other hand, don't be gullible. Check out everything, and keep only what's good. Throw out anything tainted with evil.
1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 (MSG)

Gleaning from these texts, it does seem clear we are to be on our guard, or perhaps even more aptly to heed the advice, "don't be gullible."

Ouch. What a piercing few words to speak into the swirl of information and dis-information we are learning to navigate in what seems to be ways we never have had to before. Yet, in our heedfulness, retaining the capacity to see the good and not throw stones. To celebrate the threads of gold that the Father, Son, and Spirit are constantly weaving through all of life and living. Always at work. Redeeming. Restoring. Making all things new.

Perhaps our deeper challenge however, is to get better at recognizing that which is evil and not being afraid to actually call it out. Realizing there are things: ways of being and operating, upon which evil has left its smudge. It's taint, and how to actually let them go, reject them even, as we learn to embrace the words, works and Way of Jesus and actually be about transformation more than information.

So. What do we toss? What do we cling to? Seems to be key. Sometimes what we end up holding on to, even grasping, is more the problem than that which we are throwing away. As we have constantly been reminding ourselves this past while, the end doesn't justify the means.

The Way in is the Way on. Step by step.