2 Kings 15:35
“Howbeit the high places were not removed: the people sacrificed and burned incense still in the high places. He built the higher gate of the house of the LORD.”
Not much is mentioned about Jotham and his reign over Judah. One thing that is mentioned about him is that “he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD.” He can be commended for following his father’s footsteps and not rebelling against the LORD as the kings of Israel had done.
However, there is one major thing that became his shortcoming. It says in the verse above, “Howbeit the high places were not removed…” He did right, but he still had more areas he could have improved on. He did right, but he allowed a “howbeit” to go uncorrected. It is commendable that he did right in the sight of the LORD, but it would have been greater had he gotten rid of the “howbeit” in his life.
There are many Christians whose lives are just like Jotham’s; they are good people who serve the LORD, but they never remove the “howbeit” in their life. The “howbeit” is that one thing that nags their Christian walk, and keeps them from becoming everything the LORD wants them to be. Yes, the LORD may be pleased with what you do for Him, but He would be more pleased if you removed the “howbeit.” Several thoughts can be gleaned from this little word that can help you conform more into the image of Christ.
First, there is always room for improvement. Many focus on what they have already conquered and stunt their Christian growth. They look at how high up the ladder they have climbed instead of looking at how much more they need to grow. You must never be satisfied with the status quo Christianity. Jotham was satisfied with being like his father instead of getting rid of the “howbeit” in his life.
Second, your comparison to others is no excuse not to remove the “howbeit.” Jotham did right “according to all that his father Uzziah had done,” but that is not good enough for the LORD. God never measures your Christianity by another Christian. Just because you are as good as another Christian, or just because you may be stronger than another doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t work on removing your “howbeit.” You must stop looking horizontally to measure your Christian growth and look vertically to see how much more the LORD would want you to grow.
Third, don’t allow your “howbeit” to be the major flaw in your story. You can be a great soul winner, marvelous preacher, excellent Sunday school teacher, superb bus worker, or even be an outstanding worker in your church, but your “howbeit” will not only hinder you from becoming what you are supposed to be, but it will also affect those who are making you their model of a Christian. As long as you have the “howbeit” in your life, you will always find yourself falling short of what the LORD can use you to be.
Let me ask you, what is your “howbeit?” I don’t have to mention it, but you know what it is because the Holy Spirit has already spoken to you about it as you read this devotional. My friend, don’t just settle with doing right; determine to remove the “howbeit” from your life so that you can better help those you influence for Christ. Don’t let your “howbeit” defeat you, but be the one who conquers it so that others will have the motivation to conquer theirs.