“Don’t create a massive process to process forgiveness, love, and acceptance.”~TB
When you regularly walk with God, you will notice how quickly He is to forgive us when we screw up. He doesn’t read a list of past offenses, He simply acknowledges your repentance and moves on. We know this, yet we still hold the offenses of our peers to a higher standard. How arrogant and how foolish! God doesn’t beat us up because He knows that in order for you to grow, you must be given the space and grace to do so. When you look at a person, in the same way, failing to acknowledge their growth or change, well, that says more about you than the other person.
I admit, there are times where I get annoyed with my dad when he advises me to move on from offenses. In my frustration, I’d rather wallow in my “rightness” rather than extend the same space and grace that God gives me on a daily basis. I humbly laugh at my misguided nature and continually ask God to improve my resilience in that area. I’ve come to realize that my dad is not trying to diminish/erase my experience, but rather, he’s encouraging me to love people as God loves me. I share this with you to say, whatever the offense, whatever the reason, right or wrong, move on. God gives credit where credit is due, and we all reap what we sow, good or bad. So let God do the judging.
Are you letting a convoluted process hinder your walk with Christ?
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1The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD ; he guides it wherever he pleases.
2People may be right in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their heart.
3The LORD is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices.
4Haughty eyes, a proud heart, and evil actions are all sin.
5Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.
6Wealth created by a lying tongue is a vanishing mist and a deadly trap.
7The violence of the wicked sweeps them away, because they refuse to do what is just.
8The guilty walk a crooked path; the innocent travel a straight road.
9It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.
10Evil people desire evil; their neighbors get no mercy from them.
11If you punish a mocker, the simpleminded become wise; if you instruct the wise, they will be all the wiser.
12The Righteous One knows what is going on in the homes of the wicked; he will bring disaster on them.
13Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in their own time of need.
14A secret gift calms anger; a bribe under the table pacifies fury.
15Justice is a joy to the godly, but it terrifies evildoers.
16The person who strays from common sense will end up in the company of the dead.
17Those who love pleasure become poor; those who love wine and luxury will never be rich.
18The wicked are punished in place of the godly, and traitors in place of the honest.
19It’s better to live alone in the desert than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife.
20The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get.
21Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor.
22The wise conquer the city of the strong and level the fortress in which they trust.
23Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.
24Mockers are proud and haughty; they act with boundless arrogance.
25Despite their desires, the lazy will come to ruin, for their hands refuse to work.
26Some people are always greedy for more, but the godly love to give!
27The sacrifice of an evil person is detestable, especially when it is offered with wrong motives.
28A false witness will be cut off, but a credible witness will be allowed to speak.
29The wicked bluff their way through, but the virtuous think before they act.
30No human wisdom or understanding or plan can stand against the LORD .
31The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD .
“Don’t let past trials and tribulations hinder your present with God.”~TB
This world is imperfect, and as such you will get dinged up in your walk with Christ. Part of it is because of the opposition, the world, and your flesh. The other part is that our suffering in this world is a minuscule fraction of the suffering that Jesus endured for us. So, if you’ve been wronged, so what? Every human has transgressed another, so why continue the cycle of wrongdoing? When you sit and fester in your hurts, you stay in victim mode, unable to break free of your self pity, recycling the bad behavior you experienced.
Keep it moving
Forgiving and moving on does not mean you don’t acknowledge your circumstance. It means that you are doing the work to love your brothers and sisters as God loves you. Forgiveness also does not mean for you continually accept wrongdoing. If the environment is evil, then keep it moving. The Bible shares many stories of injustice, but it also shows the importance of accountability. Long suffering and enduring unjust behavior are two distinct things. Learn the difference and act accordingly.
Are you stuck in a victim mentality?
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1The proverbs of Solomon: A wise child brings joy to a father; a foolish child brings grief to a mother.
2Tainted wealth has no lasting value, but right living can save your life.
3The LORD will not let the godly go hungry, but he refuses to satisfy the craving of the wicked.
4Lazy people are soon poor; hard workers get rich.
5A wise youth harvests in the summer, but one who sleeps during harvest is a disgrace.
6The godly are showered with blessings; the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions.
7We have happy memories of the godly, but the name of a wicked person rots away.
8The wise are glad to be instructed, but babbling fools fall flat on their faces.
9People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will be exposed.
10People who wink at wrong cause trouble, but a bold reproof promotes peace.
11The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain; the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions.
12Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love makes up for all offenses.
13Wise words come from the lips of people with understanding, but those lacking sense will be beaten with a rod.
14Wise people treasure knowledge, but the babbling of a fool invites disaster.
15The wealth of the rich is their fortress; the poverty of the poor is their destruction.
16The earnings of the godly enhance their lives, but evil people squander their money on sin.
17People who accept discipline are on the pathway to life, but those who ignore correction will go astray.
18Hiding hatred makes you a liar; slandering others makes you a fool.
19Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.
20The words of the godly are like sterling silver; the heart of a fool is worthless.
21The words of the godly encourage many, but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense.
22The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.
23Doing wrong is fun for a fool, but living wisely brings pleasure to the sensible.
24The fears of the wicked will be fulfilled; the hopes of the godly will be granted.
25When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away, but the godly have a lasting foundation.
26Lazy people irritate their employers, like vinegar to the teeth or smoke in the eyes.
27Fear of the LORD lengthens one’s life, but the years of the wicked are cut short.
28The hopes of the godly result in happiness, but the expectations of the wicked come to nothing.
29The way of the LORD is a stronghold to those with integrity, but it destroys the wicked.
30The godly will never be disturbed, but the wicked will be removed from the land.
31The mouth of the godly person gives wise advice, but the tongue that deceives will be cut off.
32The lips of the godly speak helpful words, but the mouth of the wicked speaks perverse words
“Do not put your brothers and sisters on a pedastal, as they require the same mercy and grace from God as you.”~TB
Even the wisest most disciplined follower of Christ does not compare to the perfection that is God. As such, do not place them in the same category. Each person who has been chosen to share the Lord’s wisdom is still a mere mortal. They bleed, feel, fail, achieve, in the same manner as anyone else. When they fail, as they will, you must give them the same space and grace as God gives to you.
If you view those in power as better than yourself, you run the risk of judging them harshly when they misstep. Yes, those who are placed in positions of leadership, teaching, and the like, must be held to a higher standard. However, this does not mean perfection. Human nature dictates that no one will live a perfect life. The judgment of their shortcomings is not for you or me. God is the ultimate judge and will always rule in a perfect manner.
One of the reasons why people are so willing to idolize those they consider to be wise is because it’s a great excuse to not do the work. Friends, the wise are not a substitute for our Father in Heaven. They are mouthpieces at best and examples of what not to do at worst. When you rely on someone else’s relationship/connection to Christ, it’s easy to fall into complacency, thinking that listening to them abdicates the need for you to go to God. Don’t lean on them as they are human. Instead, tap into the direct connection with God so that you know where to place your faith.
Are you avoiding Christ by putting humans on an unrealistic pedestal?
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1My son, pay attention to my wisdom; listen carefully to my wise counsel.
2Then you will show discernment, and your lips will express what you’ve learned.
3For the lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil.
4But in the end she is as bitter as poison, as dangerous as a double-edged sword.
5Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave.
6For she cares nothing about the path to life. She staggers down a crooked trail and doesn’t realize it.
7So now, my sons, listen to me. Never stray from what I am about to say:
8Stay away from her! Don’t go near the door of her house!
9If you do, you will lose your honor and will lose to merciless people all you have achieved.
10Strangers will consume your wealth, and someone else will enjoy the fruit of your labor.
11In the end you will groan in anguish when disease consumes your body.
12You will say, “How I hated discipline! If only I had not ignored all the warnings!
13Oh, why didn’t I listen to my teachers? Why didn’t I pay attention to my instructors?
14I have come to the brink of utter ruin, and now I must face public disgrace.”
15Drink water from your own well— share your love only with your wife.
16Why spill the water of your springs in the streets, having sex with just anyone?
17You should reserve it for yourselves. Never share it with strangers.
18Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19She is a loving deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love.
20Why be captivated, my son, by an immoral woman, or fondle the breasts of a promiscuous woman?
21For the LORD sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes.
22An evil man is held captive by his own sins; they are ropes that catch and hold him.
23He will die for lack of self-control; he will be lost because of his great foolishness.
“Remember who made you so in all things you refer back to the source material.”~TB
God is here, available to direct and guide you to the best results and answers. He is gentle, never pushy, and you have to come to Him. We often fail to seek Him first, turning to external sources for subpar advice.
When you rely on the limited expertise of your peers, you will find that man-made solutions will only offer a temporary fix. Like placing a bandaid on a an infected wound, it will cover the issue, but the problem will only grow worse.
When you get tired of having to constantly use temporary fixes, turn to God for help. Come before Him for all things and He will share His infinite wisdom, helping you to maintain and care for your wounds. Let go of your history, your pride, and your pain to connect to the source material.
Are you relying on the source material or are you addicted to temporary fixes?
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1Praise the LORD ! Sing to the LORD a new song. Sing his praises in the assembly of the faithful.
2O Israel, rejoice in your Maker. O people of Jerusalem, exult in your King.
3Praise his name with dancing, accompanied by tambourine and harp.
4For the LORD delights in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.
5Let the faithful rejoice that he honors them. Let them sing for joy as they lie on their beds.
6Let the praises of God be in their mouths, and a sharp sword in their hands—
7to execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples,
8to bind their kings with shackles and their leaders with iron chains,
9to execute the judgment written against them. This is the glorious privilege of his faithful ones. Praise the LORD !
“God’s love, forgiveness, and acceptance are infinitely unlimited. Apply them to your lives daily.”~TB
Don’t allow distorted thinking to limit your understanding of God’s love for you. Whether it’s coming from the opposition or a negative mindset, the biggest mistake you can make is to confuse your limited resources for God’s. Limited thinking makes you believe that God only loves you when you’re on target. That is not so! God loves you always. So whenever you mess up, set aside your finite resources and reach out to the Lord in your weakness. Friends, strength does not come from fine-tuning your skills. It comes from understanding how weak and imperfect you are.
Strength in Weakness
There will be times when you pass tests and are doing well in your work for God. Don’t get too high and mighty, because your success can cloud your judgment and make you feel invincible. As fleshly people, no matter how disciplined, you will never be perfect and eventually, you will fail. When you fall short, as we all do, remember that your weakness is not His. In your time of need, admit your shortcomings. Friends, when you know that your resources are not enough, that is when you can truly lean on God so that He can make up the difference! His unlimited resources supersede yours, covering up the blemishes. So, don’t boast in your strength, but rather rejoice in your weakness. This way you will remember that God is the only way.
Is your limited thinking obstructing your relationship with God?
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1Praise the LORD ! Praise the LORD from the heavens! Praise him from the skies!
2Praise him, all his angels! Praise him, all the armies of heaven!
3Praise him, sun and moon! Praise him, all you twinkling stars!
4Praise him, skies above! Praise him, vapors high above the clouds!
5Let every created thing give praise to the LORD, for he issued his command, and they came into being.
6He set them in place forever and ever. His decree will never be revoked.
7Praise the LORD from the earth, you creatures of the ocean depths,
8fire and hail, snow and clouds, wind and weather that obey him,
9mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars,
10wild animals and all livestock, small scurrying animals and birds,
11kings of the earth and all people, rulers and judges of the earth,
12young men and young women, old men and children.
13Let them all praise the name of the LORD . For his name is very great; his glory towers over the earth and heaven!
14He has made his people strong, honoring his faithful ones— the people of Israel who are close to him. Praise the LORD !
“When you hold on to offenses and refuse to forgive others, you are establishing yourself as your own god because you cast your judgment on others.”~TB
Who are you to judge someone in their worst moment(s)? When you take offense or fail to forgive someone, in your eyes you are immortalizing that person in their misdeed. How blatantly arrogant! Have you not offended? Are you perfect? Of course not, so if the One who Is can freely forgive, what’s your excuse? Friends, take care to resolve your feelings and overinflated egos because when you play god by participating in unforgiveness, you risk poisoning the well, creating a nasty cycle of broken people. People can change, or have you forgotten what our Father in Heaven has done in your life?
Does a handful of moments override a lifetime? No! How else do you think salvation works? Thank God that He does not make snap decisions or assumptions against us as we do to one another. No one would survive! Fortunately, when we humbly repent, He forgives and forgets, allowing us to grow closer to Him. Forgiveness allows both parties to move past the hurt and become who God intended them to be. Forgiveness is not only for your sake but for all involved! When we humble ourselves and take care to quash offenses, that’s when God can truly do works in us. Don’t play God, He’s infinitely more qualified.
Are you playing god through your unforgiveness or do you know better?
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1Praise the LORD, who is my rock. He trains my hands for war and gives my fingers skill for battle.
2He is my loving ally and my fortress, my tower of safety, my rescuer. He is my shield, and I take refuge in him. He makes the nations submit to me.
3O LORD, what are human beings that you should notice them, mere mortals that you should think about them?
4For they are like a breath of air; their days are like a passing shadow.
5Open the heavens, LORD, and come down. Touch the mountains so they billow smoke.
6Hurl your lightning bolts and scatter your enemies! Shoot your arrows and confuse them!
7Reach down from heaven and rescue me; rescue me from deep waters, from the power of my enemies.
8Their mouths are full of lies; they swear to tell the truth, but they lie instead.
9I will sing a new song to you, O God! I will sing your praises with a ten-stringed harp.
10For you grant victory to kings! You rescued your servant David from the fatal sword.
11Save me! Rescue me from the power of my enemies. Their mouths are full of lies; they swear to tell the truth, but they lie instead.
12May our sons flourish in their youth like well-nurtured plants. May our daughters be like graceful pillars, carved to beautify a palace.
13May our barns be filled with crops of every kind. May the flocks in our fields multiply by the thousands, even tens of thousands,
14and may our oxen be loaded down with produce. May there be no enemy breaking through our walls, no going into captivity, no cries of alarm in our town squares.
15Yes, joyful are those who live like this! Joyful indeed are those whose God is the LORD .
“Download the teachings and love of God to fix your brokeness.”~TB
The opposition uses people, society, and yourself to corrupt the operating system that God gave you. Like a skilled hacker, the devil will search your soul for vulnerabilities and loopholes to infect you with viruses. Depending on your areas of vulnerability this may show up in your mind, your physical body, and anywhere else that will cause you to stumble. Friends, this is why you must stay connected to God because His truth is the only solution to the evil one. No manmade patch or workaround will provide you with a cure. Download God’s truth and love.
Download the Biblical Solution
Whenever you feel the virus taking over, reconnect with God so that He may download the truth onto your operating system. His infinite wisdom and unfailing love will override any affliction evil can throw your way. Friends this is why studying the word and having daily conversations with our Father in Heaven is so vital. This world is filled with so many viruses. Whether you struggle with lust, hate, pain, unforgiveness, if you don’t actively fight against these issues, your operating system will not work as it is intended. Instead, your mind will focus on the fleshly cravings of evil practices, making you believe whatever the virus is telling you. Don’t confuse your corrupt hardware for the truth. Downloading the solution is the first step. You must activate it for it to heal your corrupted system.
Put it into practice
Knowing the truth is one thing, living it is a different story. Just because you know that God is the truth and the way does not mean you are living that way. In order for the solution to work, you must change your ways. Sometimes that means leaving friends behind. Sometimes that means distancing yourself from loved ones who must fight their own viruses. But most importantly, it means that you must fight the affliction that lies within yourself. If you’re operating in sexual sin, stop. If you are battling unforgiveness, let go of the offenses. If you struggle to love yourself, remember who loved you first. If you have anger in your heart, concentrate on God’s grace for you. If you feel lost or helpless, cry out to God for help. Friends, the biggest lie that you or I can believe is that God cannot heal you, whatever your affliction may be. So walk away from your previous life and accept the one that God made specifically for you.
Are you allowing the viruses corrupt your life or are you putting God’s Truth and Love to work?
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1Hear my prayer, O LORD ; listen to my plea! Answer me because you are faithful and righteous.
2Don’t put your servant on trial, for no one is innocent before you.
3My enemy has chased me. He has knocked me to the ground and forces me to live in darkness like those in the grave.
4I am losing all hope; I am paralyzed with fear.
5I remember the days of old. I ponder all your great works and think about what you have done.
6I lift my hands to you in prayer. I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain. Interlude
7Come quickly, LORD, and answer me, for my depression deepens. Don’t turn away from me, or I will die.
8Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.
9Rescue me from my enemies, LORD ; I run to you to hide me.
10Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.
11For the glory of your name, O LORD, preserve my life. Because of your faithfulness, bring me out of this distress.
12In your unfailing love, silence all my enemies and destroy all my foes, for I am your servant.
“Keep tabs on your ego and pride because an overabundance of both can cause you to lose your blessings.”~TB
When you’ve walked with God long enough to see the many spectacular things He’s done in you and around you, if you’re not careful, you can begin to think too highly of yourself. Pride blinds us from connecting to our brothers and sisters in Christ. An unchecked ego foolishly hones in on the sins of others, without recognizing or dealing with our own. When you’re really out of sorts, you can become your own deity, thinking you know all. Friends, check your pride and make sure you’re not on team arrogance.
It takes honest humility and repentance to get off or your high horse. Fortunately for us, when we find ourselves on the wrong team, God will gently laugh and will lovingly take us back. In those moments, reflect on His mercy and His immediate acceptance of you. God doesn’t scoff, He doesn’t even say ‘I told you so’. Like a parent missing a child who has been gone for a long time, He welcomes you with open arms. Friends, mirror His ways! Don’t think too highly of yourselves and give your peers the mercy and grace that God gives us each and every day. When you keep your feelings in check and love like God loves us, everyone wins.
Are you practicing His ways or is your pride driving your behavior?
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1I give you thanks, O LORD, with all my heart; I will sing your praises before the gods.
2I bow before your holy Temple as I worship. I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness; for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name.
3As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength.
4Every king in all the earth will thank you, LORD, for all of them will hear your words.
5Yes, they will sing about the LORD ’s ways, for the glory of the LORD is very great.
6Though the LORD is great, he cares for the humble, but he keeps his distance from the proud.
7Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will protect me from the anger of my enemies. You reach out your hand, and the power of your right hand saves me.
8The LORD will work out his plans for my life— for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.
“Sometimes God reopens old wounds because they didn’t heal properly.”~TB
If past events and hurts still haunt you, it’s a sign that you have not healed properly. Instead of moving forward, you are stuck in neutral, spinning around aimlessly. Like an old wound that has not healed properly, the overgrowth of the scar tissue of your past still plagues your present, causing you pain. When this happens God will make you revisit old tests. It’s not because He’s punishing you, but rather, He’s reopening the wound, removing the excess scar tissue so that you can properly heal. Friends, deal with your tests, temptations, and demons accordingly. Otherwise, you will be stuck having to reopen poorly healed wounds for the rest of your life.
Traumatic situations aren’t fun and when you endure a painful season, it’s human nature to want to numb the pain and avoid it. Problem is when that avoidance blocks your growth in Christ, those old wounds become a hotbed for disaster. Only true repentance and forgiveness heals these afflictions. Reflect on the Word and study the Truth. Once those old wounds resurface, use the Holy lens of Christ to see things clearly. Every obstacle and tribulation is packed with valuable lessons. Learn from them. Allow these moments to refine your character and your walk with God. When you begin to understand that your pain is subjective and you can control your reaction as you cast your burdens down, then you can live freely in Christ. Let God help you remove the scar tissue of your old wounds so that you may live in peace.
Are old wounds hurting your present and future?
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1LORD, remember David and all that he suffered.
2He made a solemn promise to the LORD . He vowed to the Mighty One of Israel,
3“I will not go home; I will not let myself rest.
4I will not let my eyes sleep nor close my eyelids in slumber
5until I find a place to build a house for the LORD, a sanctuary for the Mighty One of Israel.”
6We heard that the Ark was in Ephrathah; then we found it in the distant countryside of Jaar.
7Let us go to the sanctuary of the LORD ; let us worship at the footstool of his throne.
8Arise, O LORD, and enter your resting place, along with the Ark, the symbol of your power.
9May your priests be clothed in godliness; may your loyal servants sing for joy.
10For the sake of your servant David, do not reject the king you have anointed.
11The LORD swore an oath to David with a promise he will never take back: “I will place one of your descendants on your throne.
12If your descendants obey the terms of my covenant and the laws that I teach them, then your royal line will continue forever and ever.”
13For the LORD has chosen Jerusalem ; he has desired it for his home.
14“This is my resting place forever,” he said. “I will live here, for this is the home I desired.
15I will bless this city and make it prosperous; I will satisfy its poor with food.
16I will clothe its priests with godliness; its faithful servants will sing for joy.
17Here I will increase the power of David; my anointed one will be a light for my people.
18I will clothe his enemies with shame, but he will be a glorious king.”
“Cut your losses on sin, but don’t count people out just yet.”~TB
As a prideful nation, people will always be your downfall. Humans have the capacity to hurt, to steal, to kill– whatever the sin– you name it, we’re capable of it. Even still, whatever the offense, it’s best to forgive it and move on. Just to be clear, this is not to say that you must tolerate poor behavior, no, we must hold each other accountable. That said, forgiving one another as God forgives us allows us to grow and develop into people of Christ. Besides, what do you have to lose by letting go of offenses? More to the point, when you are so consumed with what has happened to you, you lose sight of your potential and what you could be doing to better yourself.
As sin-fallen people, we will never be free of sin. That doesn’t mean that we should not make every effort to improve each and every day. The first step in walking closer with God is to till your own soil. When you cut out the monitoring of the shortcomings of your brothers and sisters, you are then able to reflect on yourself and your personal relationship with Christ. In the midst of that silence, He will impart His wisdom on how you can improve and move forward in your destiny. Friends, where He is taking you requires very little baggage, so why not cut your losses and move on?
Are you cutting the chord to old bondages or the chord to Christ
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1From my earliest youth my enemies have persecuted me. Let all Israel repeat this:
2From my earliest youth my enemies have persecuted me, but they have never defeated me.
3My back is covered with cuts, as if a farmer had plowed long furrows.
4But the LORD is good; he has cut me free from the ropes of the ungodly.
5May all who hate Jerusalem be turned back in shameful defeat.
6May they be as useless as grass on a rooftop, turning yellow when only half grown,
7ignored by the harvester, despised by the binder.
8And may those who pass by refuse to give them this blessing: “The LORD bless you; we bless you in the LORD ’s name.”