In a small Italian town, hundreds of years ago, a small business owner owed a large sum of money to a loan-shark.
The loan-shark was a very old, unattractive looking guy that just so happened to fancy the business owner’s daughter. He decided to offer the businessman a deal that would completely wipe out the debt he owed him. However, the catch was that he would only wipe out the debt if he could marry the businessman’s daughter.
Needless to say, this proposal was met with a look of disgust. The loan-shark said that he would place two pebbles into a bag, one white and one black. The daughter would then have to reach into the bag and pick out a pebble. If it was black, the debt would be wiped, but the loan-shark would then marry her. If it was white, the debt would also be wiped, but the daughter wouldn’t have to marry the loan-shark. Standing on a pebble-strewn path in the businessman’s garden, the loan-shark bent over and picked up two pebbles.
While he was picking them up, the daughter noticed that he’d picked up two black pebbles and placed them both into the bag. He then asked the daughter to reach into the bag and pick one. The daughter naturally had three choices as to what she could have done:
- Refuse to pick a pebble from the bag.
- Take both pebbles out of the bag and expose the loan-shark for cheating.
- Pick a pebble from the bag fully well knowing it was black and sacrifice herself for her father’s freedom.
(STOP READING AND PONDER WHAT YOU WOULD DO!)
She drew out a pebble from the bag, and before looking at it ‘accidentally’ dropped it into the midst of the other pebbles. She said to the loan-shark; “Oh, how clumsy of me. Never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked.”
The pebble left in the bag is obviously black, and seeing as the loan-shark didn’t want to be exposed, he had to play along as if the pebble the daughter dropped was white, and clear her father’s debt.
Moral of the story:
It’s always possible to overcome a tough situation through a different way of thinking, and not given to the only options you think you have to pick from.
What does Jesus counsel us to do when we are in a tough situation? James 1:5 says:
“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”
And Philippians 4:6 says:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Truth to Stand on
Those two passages of scripture are pillars of Truth that we depend on in our everyday life. Sometimes we can limit God when we put Him or the solution options in a box. Many times appearances can be deceiving when there seems to be only two options. The Holy Spirit has a remarkable way to illuminate our minds and reveal a third and better option and 2 Corinthians 2:12-16 tells us:
“For we did not receive the spirit of this world system but the Spirit of God, so that we might come to understand and experience all that grace has lavished upon us.
And we articulate these realities with the words imparted to us by the Spirit and not with the words taught by human wisdom. We join together Spiritual – revealed truths with Spirit-revealed words.
Someone living on an entirely human level rejects the revelations of God’s Spirit, for they make no sense to him. He can’t understand the revelations of the Spirit because they are only discovered by the illumination of the Spirit. Those who live in the Spirit are able to carefully evaluate all things, and they are subject to the scrutiny of no one but God.” (TPT)
For who has known or understood the mind (the counsels and purposes) of the Lord so as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge? But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart? (AMPC)
HAVE: to make it your own; to possess; to lay hold of” (blueletterbible.com) → This means that I own the mind of Christ! I possess the mind of Christ! I lay hold of His thoughts feelings and the purposes of His heart as my true identity.
What amazing news: YOU HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST!
Take a moment and let your day start from the reality of what you have been given. Letting that mind shape your thoughts and actions for the day.
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