Plenty of people had ideas about how should take care of my mother. Send her off to a nursing home, move her in with my wife and I, and so on.
Instead, I ignored all those people and left Mom to live on her own in her mobile home. Some people whispered that I was neglecting her.
This lasted about a year and a half, until her health took a turn for the worse and she wound up in the hospital and then a nursing home.
During that time i heard more grumblings that I was neglecting my mother. I didn't visit often enough. I didn't give her everything she wanted.
Most of those people who thought of me as neglectful had no idea what I was or wasn't doing, and certainly not what I was thinking. Few asked me why I made the choices I did.
If they had, I would have told them that every choice I made was for her well-being, even when she didn't agree with me. The fact that she died within weeks of entering the nursing home was vindication to me that I'd made the right choice to put that off as long as possible. (I've written more about the decisions my mother and I made during that time HERE.)
Neglect, to my understanding, is to abandon focusing on the person or object and leave them untended, un-cared for. Sometimes all the proper focus in the world can still end up looking like neglect, simply because things go wrong.
I delight in your decrees STATUTES; I will not neglect your word.Pure devotion doesn't always mean perfection. We are fallible people, living in a fallen world.
Pure devotion means maintaining a pure focus on not only the words of the Word, but on the over-arching purpose and mission God reveals to us.
I used to think godly purity meant that I'm pure (and so are my people), while those other people aren't pure. Purity was a way of defining ourselves as the ones who aren't like the impure people of the world.
There is some truth to this. We're told to be careful to remain unstained by the world. We're supposed to set ourselves apart as a holy nation.
But that "setting apart" is not only for the purpose of personal purity, but to set ourselves apart as the people who will pursue the purposes of God. And those purposes, the pure mission of God, is to reach out to the people of the world, the ones who don't know God's sanctifying and purifying blessings.
When I was younger, neglecting the Word was when someone refused to live according to the pure morals and doctrines as we interpreted them from the scriptures.
I see now that neglecting the Word is when we neglect God's mission as described in the Word.
Pure devotion sometimes might look to others like we're neglecting certain parts of morality or "right thinking" as we're trying to become all things to all people.
Focus on the 1 road God has laid out before us, not on all the people who are trying to tell us where we should be making our stand.