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Elementary Watson


Photo by: Bryan Costin

In the TV series Elementary, a modern remake of Sherlock Holmes, I find an interesting bit of dialogue in an episode called The Rat Race.

Detective Holmes is talking to Watson about something that Watson, played by Lucy Liu, says she hasn’t noticed before. Holmes asks Watson about a recent date. She tells him how she thinks she caught the man lying to her as they talked about whether they had been married before. Watson goes on to tell Holmes, “This isn’t something I would have noticed before I started working with you, but I could swear he wasn’t telling the truth.”

Holmes, showing pride in his understudy, says, “Flexing our deductive muscles are we… It has its costs…learning to see puzzles in everything. They’re everywhere. Once you start looking it’s impossible to stop. It just so happens that people with all the deceits and illusions that inform everything they do, tend to be the most fascinating puzzles of all. Of course, they don’t always appreciate being seen as such.”

Watson says, “Seems like a lonely way to live.”  Holmes replies, “Has its costs.”

Am thinking that these lines of dialogue reflect our need for what Jesus was referring to when he said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

By itself, a study in human nature (i.e. criminal psychology) might help us to suspect far more deceit and cover-up than we want to see in ourselves and others. Selectively used, the Bible gives us a crash course.

But the journey of the heart that Jesus describes in his Sermon on the Mount uses those same inclinations to lift us to our need of God. Once he gets our attention to the point that we can see how good he is for people like us, he takes us beyond the loneliness of our own guilty fears and coverup to seeing his merciful presence in the most unlikely places.

Holmes talks about seeing everywhere the puzzle evidence of “people with all the deceits and illusions that inform (i.e. shape) everything they do.”  Jesus on the other hand seems to be speaking of those who, being cleaned by the loving mercies of God (Matt 5:7), begin to see God with, in, and around us  (Matt 5:8)— for hearts needing reconciliation and peace (Matt 5:9).

If only those who are so afraid of us (Matt 5:10-11), could see us working with someone far more insightful– and far more gracious… than Watson and Holmes.



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39 Responses to “Elementary Watson”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    As a contributor to this collective conversation I can say that this subject is filled with a multitude of directions for which to share thought on. Making it difficult to know exactly where to begin.

    I read long ago all of Sherlock Holmes’ adventures and just as this conversation has mentioned, once you get into such a frame of mind you yourself begin to think like (or try to) the author.

    So almost like an actor who can’t shake free of the character he/she may be portraying so it is with becoming a reader of mystery as we try and solve the issue ahead of the end of the book.

    A small step then from fiction to the reality of dealing with people or *puzzles* and everything then is seen as being more than meets the eye.

    Most fascinating is the study of human behavior and also somewhat depressing too as there is a very dark side to human nature that lay just underneath the mask people put on for their own purposes.

    My study bible describes “pure in heart” in the Beatitudes as referenced to Psalms 24:3, 4, 5 and added in comment the idea that there in Matthew 5:8 it refers to *seeing* God in the coming Kingdom.

    There is a popular reality show on called “The Long Island Medium”, its Medium, Theresa Caputo, also has a book out titled “There’s More To Life Than This”.

    Whereas I don’t personally believe that the spirits of dead people hang around on earth, I do believe that people, all people have a persona or aura around them, you may call it a *spirit* or whatever helps you understand, but this *presence* if sensed reveals all about the person as well as much more.

    God sees all of us, our intents our actions and our deepest thoughts. Who could possibly be *pure in heart* when everything about them is revealed?

    Only a person whose inner being/heart is covered by the being of Jesus of Nazareth.

    Then when viewed by God a person is pure only because Jesus is pure and it Jesus that God sees and so enables us to *see* God from the position of *being pure*.


  2. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends –

    This faith journey map (The Beautiful Attitudes) Jesus gives us is a course in personal spiritual change – as well as a blue print for how we communicate with and relate to one another. Seeing God’s grace in every place and situation is part of a transformed life. Interesting that Watson (have not seen the program you mention) is conforming her thinking to Holmes’ because of admiring and understanding the “seeing a puzzle” way of living. Sherlock has offered Watson a way of looking at “people with all the deceits and illusions that inform (i.e. shape) everything they do.”

    Jesus’ ability to look upon the heart of those around him is always in terms of loving each one, understanding us/them and bringing the kingdom of God near – always inviting everyone to enter and be part of the circle of divine love – the community of the City of God. In comparison, Holmes’ manner of thinking and being is “elementary.” We perceive at all times that Sherlock Holmes is skeptical. It’s how he operates.

    Mart, you wrote:
    “Once he (Jesus) gets our attention to the point that we can see how good he is for people like us, he takes us beyond the loneliness of our own guilty fears and cover-up to seeing his merciful presence in the most unlikely places.”

    The feature of that way of living that frightens everyone is the seeming vulnerability of it. Watson must choose being an authentic human or always expecting the worst from everyone.


  3. BruceC says:


    You last paragraph was “If only those who are so afraid of us (Matt 5:10-11), could see us working with someone far more insightful– and far more gracious… than Watson and Holmes.”

    It is that One who is working with us and through us for our better and for the better of those around us that ‘THEY’ truly fear. They are afraid because Christ exposes the deep depravity, sin, and blackness of all human hearts. It is the truth about themselves that they fear. IMHO it is pride that keeps them from the humbling that is required to admit our sinful state and need of Christ. They are afraid to say ” I am wrong and a sinner; and You Lord are right.” Many people are afraid to look within themselves. Christ brings truth. The deceiver brings lies. Most people would rather believe the lie.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

    PS Was 16 degrees here this morning.

  4. oneg2dblu says:

    Bruce… I hope you are getting some relief with your self applied therapy from past bouts with this very painful disorder. Nothing like pain to motivate us to getting back to health ASAP. Prayers!

  5. oneg2dblu says:

    What I love about this Divine Nature and relationship with Christ is that a mask can not exist if you really have this ongoing personal place in your life where He is both your Lord and your Master.

    There is no hiding, no covering up, no mask to put on, with Him living inside you, even your thoughts are known by Him.

    If you think that a relationship does exist, and you call it back-sliding it is deception for sure.

    One can not serve two Masters, and Christ has said, If you sin, sin is then your master, for it has power over you.

    I’m using my own words of course and not actual scripture.

    We may think we have an eye to see an aura or the spirit of another, but it is mere fantasy if the Discernment of God is not in the mix, is not all our sight only by our human election?

    Open our eyes Lord that we may see Jesus…

    Jesus, who we can not ever hide from, for the word of God says, “Every knee shall bow and every mouth confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”

    Some to Eternal life with Christ and others while eternally weeping and knashing their teeth.

    Only through true repentance, or a turning away from separating sin, does one fully restore their right relationship with Christ, as Master.

    Unless you also believe a serial killer can have Christ living inside of them, then, even a drunkard and a lier and the rest of those named on the list of those who will not enter the Kingdom of God, are all safely “in” and in right relationship with their master.

    Elementary Watson?


  6. belleu says:

    It is difficult to understand why someone would want to persecute Christians for their beliefs, but it has been done since Cain killed Abel. I think Bruce is right in what he said about that.

    As for deceit and cover-up, it’s like when you date someone. At first they are so nice, but as you keep on dating some flaws in that person’s character show through. If you marry that person, you usually find out who they really are, and it generally ain’t pretty.

    I think we all do this. And we deceive ourselves too on who we really are. Maybe we don’t know until we live with someone who challenges us. Then, all our faults come flying out and surprise us along with our spouse. So, yes, I think most people put on a nice act, perhaps because that is who they want to be.

    As for those who deceive on purpose – knowing they are evil and pretending to be good – I guess it is the pressure of society to act a certain way that keeps them acting differently than what they are.

  7. poohpity says:

    I can not begin to tell you how many times that I have talked with folks and they have shared their fears of being honest with friends, parents and spouses because they have feared the back lash of doing so. I do not mean sharing what they see in them but sharing their own hearts, feelings, thoughts and dreams the very essence of who they are for fear of being rejected, ridiculed, made fun of, or maybe even the other person getting mad at them for the way think or feel. The most intimate parts of themselves they often hide with those closest to them. That seems especially true for those who live with, like parents and spouses, or friends who are controlling people.

    We try and cover up even to the point of deception those things that make us who we are yet the God of heaven knows every thought or feeling we have and showed us mercy and reveals Himself to us as we let go of holding so tight to our secrets. Those things that at one time would have caused us to hold our heads in shame and guilt but Jesus brushes us off, stands us up and tell us, “I got you covered, you do not need to hide any more. I know everything about you and I love you, all of you. When you admit those things to me, I can work with anything to make it beautiful. It is OK to be honest and real, in fact that is what it takes to peel the layers off to reveal the real you. The more you share with me the more I will share with you.”

  8. BruceC says:


    Thanks for the prayers. I have been able to get out of the chair or bed for two days now without a cane. Stretching has worked again and I will continue. First two days were very bad. Thanks again.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  9. bubbles says:

    In reference to the last paragraph about those who are persecuting being afraid of those they persecute, I had never thought about that way before. It makes sense.

    Bruce, it’s good to read your back and leg are doing better. I’ve had sciatica before, and it’s painful. When I put weight on the one leg, the nerve would catch.

  10. oneg2dblu says:

    Like the old adage says, “You can fool some of the people some of the time, and most of the people most of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time.”

    And, I would add…you certainly can’t fool God anytime.

    You can even lie to yourself as well, but God knows the heart, and all liars are bound to the End of the Book by the passage that says, they will not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

    Revelation 3:19, 20, 21, 22 (NIV)

    Revelation 21:8, 27 (NIV)

    Revelation 22:15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21 (NIV)

    That my Dear Watson, is The End of the Book….

  11. tracey5tgbtg says:

    Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. Makes me think of Psalm 27:8. It also makes me think of one of my favorite quotes that I read in an ODB booklet. “Resentment comes from looking at others. Contentment comes from looking at God.” (Something to that effect.)

    In the conversation between Holmes and Watson, I understood Watson to say that it is a lonely life always searching people for the ways in which they are being deceiving with Holmes telling her that such a life has its costs.

    So what I take away from this comment is that the “pure in heart” concentrate on trying to see God, as opposed to searching out the flaws, deceptions and sins of their neighbor. Such a search has no end as everyone will be found to be flawed.

    Job 19:25-27

  12. SFDBWV says:

    Using the talents of both Holmes and supernatural discernment we might be able to see deep inside a person’s life and understand their motives.

    To a Holmes wannabe that may be all that is seen, the dark side of the persons soul; however to someone *pure in heart* what may be discovered is the pain and suffering that caused the soul to be *sick* and in need of healing rather that punishing.

    As Mart lays out each of these attitudes found in Matthew 5:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 be honest with yourself, are these attributes being displayed in your life and in your writing here on this blog, thought safe from prying eyes and *discerning* stares?

    Oddly even here or in any expression of ourselves the hidden we, thought safe, shines through to any who possess the talents of a Holmes and those who are gifted with discernment.

    What separates us then from the attitudes found displayed in the Beatitudes and the world, is what we do and how we feel about the information we discover.


  13. BruceC says:

    Although I enjoyed police work; it at times sickened me because of all that I saw. And because you had to be on guard all the time and really had to be careful not to take most people at their word. When I was a newbie I learned quickly just how people readily lie to a “badge”. Trying to separate that from the rest of life was difficult; and it still is today at times. It can change how you “look” at people (and yourself) and that is not pleasant. It creates a mental and spiritual struggle within me at times.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  14. SFDBWV says:

    I can totally relate Bruce. Anytime your job takes you out into the public your view of people is honed from exposure and repeated examples. You gain a *street* savvy that separates you from *them*.

    It does take an extra effort to have compassion for such people, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t still recognize a stinker when you see one.


  15. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… a stinker in who’s eyes?

    Would we use the law of man to define that stinker?

    Or, would we use the law of God to define that stinker?

    Or, do we use our intuition, our deductive reasoning, our discernment, our past experiences, our world veiw, our learned or fiduciary resposibilty of authority placed on us by the world or our employer, or our paid position?

    Or, maybe we need to use just our nose… to define a stinker.

    But, isn’t it in our searching ears where we here,”Away from Me you evil doer.” when we know we have been the stinker ourselves, or worse yet, we can’t hear the still small voice any longer and see no need to repent ourselves and come near again?

    Funny isn’t it how in this life after the stinker has done his time in punishment, his punishment is never really over, until God forgives Him, and he is able to recognize his nakedness and need and repents unto finding a closeness never achieved any other way.

  16. oneg2dblu says:

    I remember a young lady on my bus whom I found to be most trustworthy in my own eyes, she was always doing the right things, courteous, respectful, quiet, never a problem.
    But one day I discovered that she broke that building trust by violating the rules as she took a marker and wrote something on the seat.
    I was so shocked at her and because we had a trusting relationship, (driver to student) and now her bad choices gave that trust a distance not encountered prior.
    I had to confront her of course, but not so much for the momentarrty act of her unusual reckless behavior but for breaking that trust.

    In fact she was crying the whole time she spent cleaning up her trespass, working through her applied punishment.

    When she left the bus that day she said, “Mr Gary, I don’t know why I did that, but I never did it against you. Please, please forgive me.”

    She fully repented and asked that the trust be restored, and it was restored.

    Had I failed being compassionate, because I punished her instead of letting her off the hook, covering her trespass saying nothing and cleaning up her mess myself?

    Or, was my holding her accountable to the rules the more compassonatee thing to do?

    You can deciede that one for yourself…depending on your doctrine.

    What I do know is that calling her to the trust issue and then forgiving her completely after she repented, taught her the greater lesson, and to me showed her the most compassion.

    A day where e both grew up a little. :)
    “Mr. Gary”

  17. oneg2dblu says:

    The part I left out besides the little “w” needed in that last statement, is that she was my first stop and always sat up front and chatted with me until the other kids got on the bus at the next stop.
    This particular day she was invited to sit it the back with her friends and by her own moving away, she then fell into temptation as she acted poorly in front of her peers.
    Perhaps a teen moment, if you will, had overtaken her.
    Just a thought…
    When we find ourselves feeling separated, who is it that has actually moved away?

  18. poohpity says:

    Flexing deductive muscles without having the first piece of the puzzle in place being “poor in spirit” prevents any of the be-attitudes following to take place. Without that foundational piece we would tend to discern what we see in others without discerning what we are like within our own hearts. Forgetting our responsibility to keep our own door steps clean and free of dirt. “ALL sin and fall short of the glory of God”. We leave out a piece of the puzzle that Jesus taught in parable found Luke 18:9-14 NIV.

    Going back to step one seems to be lost and forgotten after we first laid our hearts bare when we first accepted Christ. That realization of our need for forgiveness and mercy gets lost as we start being prideful of who we are now in Christ but Jesus taught us we need to be humble in heart and mind not to look down on others. We will see God as we cling to the great mercy that He gives us everyday as we hunger and thirst for Him above the desires of our sinful flesh.

    Jesus repeatedly confronted the religious people of His time which are no different than the religious people of this time about the masks, deceit and cover-ups of looking good on the outside or what we present to people and denying the truth of what our hearts are really like inside. How can one be humble and meek if there is no understanding of who we are compared to God not to other human beings. We will always find a person we can feel better than and there will always be someone we will feel worse than but that is not an accurate picture of the puzzle unless we compare ourselves to Jesus. There is no comparison there and that is what keeps us looking up to Him and if we are looking up to Him we can not look down on others. There is only level ground at the foot of the Cross.

    Having a discerning spirit does no good if it is not discerning about the reflection in the mirror. If we do not realize the mercy that was shown to us and our own heart condition then how will we ever be able to show mercy to others. Jesus showed mercy to those who knew they needed mercy not to those who felt they were righteous, to those He condemned, warned, rebuked and called hypocrites. Those that are drawn to Jesus were those who knew their need by deductive reasoning. I can’t but Jesus can and I need Him to do what he does best, forgive a sinful person like me.

  19. oneg2dblu says:

    Could it be that it was the Pharisee that spent way too much his time looking at himself saying thank God I am not like that other guy.

    It seems his whole perspective was always on himself and constantly checking his condition first.

    Narcissism has its problems as well, and pride is always the basis for it.

    So looking in the the proverbial mirror all the time to check your own condition is not the right perspective either.

    I do not see how our exposing others to the letter is being as found in a position of pride, but of love for another who may not see beyond their condition, outside of their own mirror.

    When we share the word it should reflect the proper image that God gives and places upon “both” the giver and the receiver.

    We come to Christ only after we recognize our fallen state and repent and seek His forgiveness, receive His mercy, grace, forgiveness, and salvation.

    What then… can we then move on?

    Or do we stay locked into this rear veiw of falleness
    and never get over ourselves.

    The deposit of His Holy Spirit must have a greater veiw than just searching our own heart all the time.

    I beleive the command was “Go into all the world and share the Gospel.”

    Take your mirror, was not part of where we need to be stuck, we need to get going and be growing and start being productive for others, trusting always that the Spirit in us will do all the needed looking inside for us.

    Beleive and Receive and walk on as to work out your salvation, not stay at the pool’s edge caught in your own reflection and never be albe to move from it.

    Lets move on.

    Of course, I can not know if others are called to stay put, but only sharing the command that says, “Go!”

    Are we Born Again Beleivers sharing and caring for others, or are we stuck in the mirror of self-searching or pride and only finding our own faults, but never seeing others?

    Where’s the mission field and where are the workers, when we stay put, only see ourselves in the mirror?

    Just a thought…

  20. remarutho says:

    Good Evening BTA Friends –

    Poohpity, you wrote:
    “…unless we compare ourselves to Jesus. There is no comparison there and that is what keeps us looking up to Him and if we are looking up to Him we cannot look down on others. There is only level ground at the foot of the Cross.”

    Jesus performs whatever judgments are made (Psalm 119:75) in our human relationships. As you say, we are looking steadily at Jesus – high and exalted in heaven and on earth. Our place is right alongside those who have “hearts needing reconciliation and peace (Matt 5:9),” as Mart puts it. Every soul is the same at the foot of the cross. We cannot add to or remove from Jesus’ entirely accurate knowledge of us or anybody else.


  21. remarutho says:

    It seems to me there is a choice whether to be guided by what the world shows to be true — or what Jesus shows to be true. There is a difference. Watson is beginning to see things as Holmes does — always questioning others’ motives — always seeking out wrong-doing.

    In the Beatitudes (Matt 5:1-10) Jesus is shaping first his hearers on the hillside — and now those who read his words, to see him, Messiah, in others. Jesus, in both living and teaching the principles of his kingdom, invites us to live under his sovereign rule, not the rule of Caesar and his military/police state.

    These are the principles and values that eventually subverted the rule of Roman imperial force by non-violent non-compliance with dog-eat-dog thinking. They are the kingdom principles that bring in the peaceable kingdom in every place and time.


  22. SFDBWV says:

    I am centering my thoughts this morning on Mart’s last paragraph whereby he says “If only those who are so afraid of us could see us working with someone far more insightful-and far more gracious…than Watson and Holmes.”

    I always wondered why it was that the rule of communism in the old Soviet Union and in China was so determined to stifle Christianity.

    Some might see Jesus as the ultimate socialist, yet these governments were so afraid of Christianity that Bibles were outlawed and the assembly of believers persecuted for attempting to worship and learn together.

    Today in the deeply skewed societies of the modern world, it would seem the only threat seen in Christian beliefs is the condemnation of the life style the world wants to live unashamedly.

    Christians stand almost alone against a world that wants to enjoy life without morality or at least without Christian morals.

    Christians stand as witnesses and so are hated for being the messengers of *Truth*. Odd how fear and hate go together.

    The truth is that when Jesus *is* seen as the one we are “working with” it is He who is hated first and we for belonging to Him. The world believes if it silences us it can silence Him.

    They still can’t see any farther then the surface and are afraid of what lay underneath.


  23. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    What you say about the witness (martyrdom)of believers in Christ surely resonates with what is going on as we speak, Steve. While the old Soviet regime may have lost some momentum, it seems to me China is busily persecuting Christian pastors behind the bamboo curtain. So, many wind up pastoring and teaching from prison! The regime is running in molasses when it tackles true faith.

    The thing about the true Church is: The harder the skeptical power brokers press her, the more fervent and self-sacrificing she becomes. The more ruthless the force-based regime, the more blood flows. Finally, the witness of Christ’s love and mercy begins to turn the hearts and minds of the persecutors.

    Perhaps those who hate Jesus are afraid of the Hound of Heaven — the blessed Holy Spirit. (My observation upon history) No weapon formed against Christ will stand. (Isaiah 54:17


  24. SFDBWV says:

    I remember hearing or reading from some commentator regarding the struggle of communism to quiet Christianity in the Soviet Union, that they gave credit to *grandmothers* for keeping the faith alive in both practice and prayers.

    I think many a grandmother’s tears and prayers found success in all the world.

    I liked the pun about the *hound* in your comment Maru; Holmes having a hound of Baskerville and your reference to the diligence of the Holy Spirit.

    From a critical eye, I thought Sir Arthur Conan Doyle started running out of ideas as his stories started to wind down. The creation of Moriarty became a go to character whenever he ran out of plots and story lines.

    Almost in the same way people want to blame or give credit to Satan for their own misdeeds.


  25. remarutho says:

    How true, Steve! Moriarty is an endless well of darkness and evil on which Holmes’ fevered brain can feed. Ugh. It may be that those who follow Jesus must open all the windows and doors of our lives — allowing the Light of the World into the darkest corners. Surely we occasionally find a dark little drawer or cubby where the Savior can transform us. I certainly do.

    None of us can gin up goodness for ourselves. I seems to me the Beatitudes are the blue print — the values — for surrendering it all to Jesus.


  26. poohpity says:

    Elementary Gary, when one realizes how imperfect they are it is not demanded of others. When ones sees the condition of their own heart they recognize their own need for mercy and are quicker to show it to others that is why it is the “Signature Mark” of any Christian that is what sets them apart from the world around them. That is the “Good News” that Jesus died for the sins of the world. God has put in every heart guilt and shame over their actions, people know when they do wrong if they have any conscience at all but Jesus offers forgiveness. I do not know about you but that is what I celebrate and sing for joy about, that I am forgiven. I know it is the Lord who works within to change me, not me. I trust God to work in peoples life to open their eyes to the condition of their hearts, He needs me to show them the mercy I have received. That is the reason we look in the mirror at least that is what the Bible says in different words but that is a very big piece of the puzzle. Matthew 23 is just one place that helps to understand what Jesus was teaching the religious leaders.

  27. oneg2dblu says:

    Pooh… Was the call of Christ, “Follow Me,”also a demanded one, or loving lavished upon all those who become His disciples?

    Wasn’t it received as it was given, as a clear loving leading from the Master.

    “If you love me you will obey my commands.”

    Was that statement also a demanding one?

    Or was it lovingly lavished upon all those who would receive it as a loving leading meant only for those who would apply it.

    “Elementary Gary, when one realizes how imperfect they are it is not demanded of others.”

    I do not have to demand anything that is so well established as the default position of all humanity, because God has already delivered that message.

    “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”


  28. oneg2dblu says:

    As others have stated, it is the default guilt position that keeps people from allowing Christianity to have rule over them, because they fear all they will lose of their already coveted sinful living, the very thing they see in the mirror of their own life.

    Christianity today is viewed as a form of death to them.

    The greatest hoast ever placed upon man is that he really can’t see clearly in his mirror that to really live he must die to self first, and that conundrum is keepnig him away from ever changing his position.

    Fear and Hate do make good partners against all things that sound so foreign, or so Christian and moral, to the rest of the ever sinning world at large.

  29. belleu says:

    I think you are partly right Gary, about some people not becoming Christians because they would have to give up some of their life style. But there are also people who feel too sinful and hopeless to go to God. I’ve had quite a few people say to me, “God couldn’t love me. I’ve done too many bad things.”

    Maybe if the love and acceptance of God were preached more, more people would come to him. I think most people know what is right and what they are doing is wrong. What they need is the stories of how Jesus accepted everyone who came to him.

    When people come to Jesus, he slowly shows them what he wants and frees them from their sins. As he was patient with his disciples, so he is patient with us. We are not so patient with people; we want to see success right away. But God is an able teacher.

  30. BruceC says:


    Love your last two paragraphs. The grace He shows us we should show others. Many times we don’t.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  31. poohpity says:

    Gary, every human being has the ability to be critical of their fellow human beings there is nothing unique about that however being merciful and full of grace towards the undeserving is unique to those who know what their Savior has done for them. Those tend to treat others the way they have been treated. Anyone can see flaws it takes a special person to see someone beyond their behaviors to one who Jesus died for, now that is very unique and a breathe of fresh air. Jesus’ command for us was to love others as He has loved us (John 15:12 NIV) which was to lay down His life for those who did not deserve it, that is not being critical, judgmental or fault/sin finding that is how we demonstrate a fundamental/elementary understanding of what Jesus did.

  32. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh.. thanks again for sharing the basics.

  33. cbrown says:

    Praise God! The morning devotionals helped me with a few pieces of the mystery. “The Daily Bread” was right on point and then “My Utmost for His Highest” gave me a few more pieces to the puzzle. With the help of the Holy Spirit I am filling in a small section.

  34. poohpity says:

    Once we understand those basics then we see the true nature of who we are and our need for help to do something that we could never do on our own. Rather than looking at sin on a grading curve or comparing ourselves with others we finally come to realize that we can achieve nothing by self effort to please God (Isaiah 64:6). God gave us His Son whom He was well pleased with (Matt 3:17) to die in our place because of His great mercy and love (Romans 5:8). God’s love was given freely it did not have to be earned which most folks feel like they have to earn love they can not see how someone could just love them like they are but God does. Then we can begin to see God with, in and around us (Matt 5:8) and take the cover-ups, deceits and illusions off and live in peace with all the other screw-ups who need the forgiveness, grace and mercy of our Father in Heaven. :-)

  35. poohpity says:

    I could be wrong but I do not remember anywhere else in Scripture that God ever said that He was “well pleased” with anyone other than Jesus and Jesus covers us. To have that first love rekindled in us by going back to the basics is so needed in the life of every believer.

  36. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends –

    The “elementary” – that is the first basic – building blocks of looking at the puzzle of the world are faith, hope and love (1 Corinthians 13:13) it seems to me.

    By comparison to these attributes of God – and of Jesus – and we pray, those who follow Jesus – Holmes is a double-minded man. He has formed the habit of seeing everything suspiciously, or at least skeptically.

    Mart, you quote lines from the series Elementary:

    “Holmes, showing pride in his understudy, says, ‘Flexing our deductive muscles are we… It has its costs…learning to see puzzles in everything. They’re everywhere. Once you start looking it’s impossible to stop. It just so happens that people with all the deceits and illusions that inform everything they do, tend to be the most fascinating puzzles of all. Of course, they don’t always appreciate being seen as such.’”

    My memory of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries I have read is that Holmes is eccentric, brilliant and occasionally comes up with amazing feats of deduction in investigating crime. But, do I really want to find such probing a constant part of my daily life? What about Holmes’ statement that, “Once you start looking it’s impossible to stop”? Give it a rest, Sherlock! (James 1:5, 6, 7, 8) ;o)


  37. poohpity says:

    I think the comparison with Holmes and his study of human behavior or criminal behavior and how insightful our God is knowing every nook and cranny of us, yet was so gracious and merciful.

    Having a background in studying human behavior we can have better understanding of people and see many things that people try and hide, so I understand what Holmes was saying but I also understand that that study does not even compare to how well God knows us.

  38. oneg2dblu says:

    Just to finish the thoughts about Holmes and his human ability, and having a background in sinful living if you will, has taught me well that it is “us who choose” to continue in it, and anyone not looking out for sin’s deceptiveness in their lives, thinking they are already safe from it, might as well be blind.
    At least Holmes, knew he was on a mission of discovery about things that would consume him daily in the things found, or left behind by every evil act, even by the most crafty person who tries so well to hide things about themselves, but they are always revealing them for others.
    Then once again their own pride sticks out and confronts them in the mirror they claim is pride only held to that higher standard by others.

  39. oneg2dblu says:

    I will always welcome another’s constructive input, for we must have some input if we are actively being part of the dialogue of ideas presented, which I do perhaps by fault credit more than our remaining silent, or any must add list of our credentials we present.

    That is where I sometimes feel some may be hanging themselves out as plaques on the walls of their so easily labeled as humble, yet ever open and revealing lives.

    That may also be part of a repetitive elective or deceptive trapping, as some accidentally worship their other god, all while under the guise of only sharing their life and showing their concern and love of others.

    Like having a HUGE Facebook account as possibly being a pride mirrored following….

    It makes me wonder where the line is drawn upon the revealed acts of compassion and concern once brought out to light here, and where the bible says they will have their rewards on earth only, and which others when they are hidden, are then fully reserved for the kingdom?

    Just thinking…

    Where the line of showmanship and boasting is defined and where humility is actually found, if it is found in not openly sharing your acts to man, but only to God?

    Like not letting the right hand know what the left is doing.

    That may be the biblical standard, but probably only for the legalists among us, but what other word qualifies this always revealing process so well, this place we may call our humility showing, or is it just our pride and boasting?

    Am just thinking about these things as the trappings of things we think we need to reveal and which are not really needed.

    I guess the mirror has its place in all our thoughts and actions, and shows us our real religious practice, or what we worship the most.

    Then again, I guess it is all good, if it is all God!

    As Bruce says, “Soli Deo Gloria!”

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