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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Just a Few Things

If I'm going to err on the side of pride or soul crushing self deprecation, it's almost always going to be the latter.  Not that I don't have a great facade that I can fabricate in a pinch.  Oh, come on.  As much as I legitimately believe in transparency, we all have them.  Maybe admitting to my ability to be fake is part of being real.

There's this serious tension, though, between self-sacrifice and self-preservation.  We're not called to save our lives.  Scripture is pretty clear on this, "For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it" (Matthew 16:25, NIV).  And yet we are also expected to live into this concept of being beloved.  Serving a God who says, "Hey I love you, now go die," can be difficult.  No one wants to say that.  No one wants to hear that.  But here we are...

I don't really want it to be difficult.  It's not that I'm afraid of hard work, but I think it would be best if I just closed my eyes at a reasonable hour tonight, woke up in the morning, and found that every single person on this planet had transformed overnight to embrace love and peace and Kingdom values.  I think that's what everybody actually wants, right?

And yet we fight.  We fight about everything.  We always think we're right.  Well, I mean, I do anyway...

"In their own eyes they flatter themselves too much to detect or hate their sin" (Psalm 36:2, NIV).

Here comes the soul crushing...

What if I'm wrong?  Oh my goodness, I hate being wrong.  I readily admit that I am wrong, probably at least eighty percent of the time, but I hate it.  It would be fabulous if I could redirect that hate toward my own sin... which I almost never talk about, because it is so much easier to point out how others are failing.  At least... that's easier in public.  I can beat myself up pretty good when I'm alone...

"Do not be arrogant, but tremble" (Romans 11:20b, NIV).

OK.  Perhaps this is the part when I admit that I am not nearly as good at everything as I would like people to believe.  I'm not nearly as good at everything as I would like to be.  There are even days when I wonder if I'm good at anything... but then I have to recognize that I'm moving too far to the side of criticism.  Even though I'm pretty good at sarcasm, the real me makes a lousy cynic.  I feel too much for that.  I can pretend, but the truth is; I know what love in the world looks like, so there's no going back.  I'm going to have to live with the fact that behind this wall of concrete covered in diamonds, is a pile of mushy feelings.  Beloved.  Go figure. 

And God doesn't actually put anybody in charge of everything.  Yeah.  Control freak nightmare.  I get it. 

"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!'" (Matthew 25:21, NIV).

To be faithful with a few things...  To share responsibility... To be happy... 

I wonder how many of us could do just that?  I wonder where I might exercise faithfulness best.


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