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Monday, May 23, 2016

Oh, the Lies We Tell Ourselves



Sometimes when I read Scripture, I'm afraid I read my own narrative into it too quickly.  It is not difficult to pull a verse out of context, here or there, and to think to myself, "Wow!  That sure sounds like (fill in the blank with any name of any person who apparently needs my judgment at the given moment)..."  But sometimes, I fill in the blank with my own name.  And this is often when transformation begins to happen.

I Timothy 1:15, "Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst" (NIV).

Well then...

Who says that?

Initially, I thought, "I have no idea why this statement seems freeing when applied to my own life..."  Then I considered the implications. 

"The truth will set you free..."  (See John 8:32).

The number one problem we might have in the church, today...  Heck, the number one problem we might have in the world, today...  We all lie to each other.

"Be as you wish to seem" - Socrates

I'm not so concerned with the hyperbolic, vastly embellished narratives we create to make ourselves look awesome (although... I admit... these can be problematic sometimes).  I'm more worried about the subtle ways in which we convince ourselves that we're right... and they're wrong... and our sin doesn't matter... but their sin sure does.  I'm more alarmed by the ways in which we quietly divert our attention from pain in the world, refusing to take responsibility because we're not legitimately culpable... breathing a sigh of relief, because we're off the hook... embracing the loophole instead of the human being who is desperately trying to make eye contact.  I'm more disturbed by the divisive grab for power when we should be washing feet and making amends...

Proverbs 10:12, "Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs" (NIV).

Friends, I am amazing at creating conflict if I want to.  But I don't want to.  It feels so seventh grade, and I'm never going back to that!  Why would I want to be associated with hatred?  With drama?  Again, please don't misunderstand.  In some ways I feel like I'm beating a dead horse.  There are certainly times to speak up, and we should never, ever allow people to be oppressed by injustice.  But I think we need to define injustice, because we whine and cry about far too many things that don't matter when there are real crises in the world.

This...

Psalm 25:11, "For the sake of your name, Lord, forgive my iniquity, though it is great" (NIV).

And may we move on from this.  May love cover all wrongs, and may we start over... day after day after day... participating in Kingdom work that makes us less selfish and more giving than we were yesterday... and the day before that...

L.

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