TURNING FROM, TURNING TO

Since posting “TURN AROUND” yesterday, I’ve had the concept of “turn” stuck in my mind. I thought I knew what the word meant, but I looked it up anyway and there are many different definitions. It is both a noun and a verb, but two that stood out are “change or cause to change direction” (“we turned around and headed back to the house”) and “change in nature, state, form, or color; become” (“Emmeline turned pale” or “the leaves have turned orange”).

Turns can be good or bad, depending on one’s opinion. For example, comedian and ventriloquist Jeff Dunham has a little dummy named “Bubba J” who loves to drink beer and watch NASCAR (They’re making another left turn!!) He has another crabby old man, Walter, who despises NASCAR (All they do is drive around in a circle making left turns!!!). In the medical field one can make a turn for the worse or for the better depending on the changes the doctors observe.

But any time a turn is made, we turn toward something and away from something else unless we just turn in a continuous circle. Anything less than a 360 degree turn will change direction and will lead us away from something and toward something different. This concept appears numerous times throughout the Bible and depending on circumstances we are told to turn sometimes and not turn at others; some examples:

1. “So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. Walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.” Deut 5: 32-33
2. “If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chron 7: 14
3. “Repent, then, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” Acts 3: 19
4. “Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith.” 1 Ti 6: 20-21
5. “For whoever would live life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it.” 1 Peter 3: 10-11

One of the keys to a happy life is knowing when to turn and when not to turn and what to turn toward and from what to turn away.

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