Friday, May 15, 2009

A Quandry

Why is it that we go through life deceiving ourselves and others? We take special care to make sure that no one knows who we really are and in the process of covering ourselves up, we fail to see who other people really are.

God is the only one Who can see us for who we really are. He is the only one Who sees through the mask that we put on, through the veil we cover ourselves with. Before Him we are naked. Nothing held back, nothing hidden. Every shameful thing is fully exposed- every thought, fear, addiction; every ugly, sin stained part of us.

I suppose it is self preservation to hold our completeness back from other people. People have a funny way of treating other people's failures as so horrible that the people who exposed themselves, even for a moment, are so hurt that they will never be the same again. Why do people act that way? They know that they are dirty themselves, why is it that they treat others with so much superiority? It is partly because when they do so, they take the scrutiny off themselves and direct it towards the other person, so that when they slip up (as everyone is bound to do) and let the part of them that they don't want others to see be seen, they feel like maybe, just maybe they will not be judged as harshly.

Judge not that you be not judged. We forget this and go around merrily judging ourselves- our failures, fears, sins, goofs, etc.- we judge others- their failures, fears, sins, goofs, etc.- we judge by our knowledge, past experience, our upbringing, by our moral code, even by what we think is God's will. For those of us who are Christians, we are especially prone to expect other people to have the same gifts as us. We expect others to have the same passions, the same ministry, the same talents. But if everyone had the same gifts, and the same passions God's work on Earth would not be fulfilled through us, the Body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12 (NLT)

v. 4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. v. 5 There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. v. 6 God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.

If only I could remember that all the time. I would have fewer misunderstandings of others. I would be more effective in my own ministry. Instead of stewing over whether or not other people are in God's will or not, I would focus on whether I was in God's will. Each person is individually accountable to God for his own actions. We shouldn't worry about what other people are doing. We are only responsible for our own thoughts, feelings, actions and beliefs. Other people may influence those things in us and we can influence them, but we shouldn't feel responsible for changing those things in others. We are each to be focused on God and how we can serve Him effectively. If others don't seem to be living up to what we think is right or wrong, we shouldn't worry about it. Let God deal with them. True, God might use us in some way to influence them, but we aren't their consciences. They are the ones responsible for themselves. Not us.

Love, in Christ,

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