I was able to get out to a homeschool meeting last night. I met some new people and caught up with some I had met previously. I have been praying for some God-connections as far as homeschooling goes, and I believe God is answering those heart cries for the boys and me.
I also enjoyed an ice-cream date with a friend afterward, and it was nice to sit and share our lives. That conversation has me thinking on perspectives again today and all the angles from which we can view life.
How easy is it to glance at a situation or someone's actions and pass a quick judgment? I continue to think on this and be amazed at how we do this! And I think because we tend to do this and know how quick we all are to judge others it makes us shy away from being honest with people about our own weaknesses...because we live in fear of being judged!
The Bible clearly tells us that in our weakness, God is made strong. We can't do everything perfectly! That is precisely why we need a Savior! But still, we strive. We try so hard to meet some standard that we think is "perfect." We fail miserably to see that we can never attain it. Or, actually, maybe we don't fail at seeing it. Perhaps we really do know that it is impossible, but we feel pressured to keep up with the illusion that we have it all together. ???
A bunch of people walking around trying to look like they have the perfect life. What's the point? Living a charade is exhausting and it benefits no one! Eventually, we will grow weary in playing this part. Our true "ugly" will begin to seep out, and usually, let's be honest, it doesn't seep, it explodes! Then, after we have our release, we pull it back together and begin again to act.
Why do we do this???!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Fear of rejection. Fear of abandonment. Fear of failure.
I think we see the underlying problem: FEAR.
The Bible tells us that perfect love casts out fear. What is perfect love? God. God is love. God doesn't just have love. God is Love.
I know from experience that the closer we draw to the Lord in relationship, the more these fears and insecurities that keep us messed up will grow less suffocating. In His presence is fullness of joy.
Joy is defined as an inward spiritual force. It differs from happiness in that happiness is a fleeting feeling that changes with our circumstances but joy, once you yield your heart to the Lord, is ever-present to help you. I don't always feel happy, but I always have joy. It seems that the more I choose to bask in His presence, the greater my joy becomes. It's certainly not that I don't get aggravated or shaken, but at my core, I am steady. I know where my hope lies and from where my help comes!
I know who I am. I am not who this world says I am, nor how it tries to define me. I don't care anymore what "class" some may try to lump me in, because I recognize now that they only do this because it's their coping mechanism they use to feel better about themselves!
I am me...and God loves me! In ALL my failures, weaknesses, and shortcomings...yes, in my downright disgusting SIN, He loves me. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. I don't have to meet any standard! I was set free when Jesus CHOSE to take my place on Calvary! He didn't wait until I was all cleaned up and without spot or blemish to accept me. He opened His arms wide and said, "It is finished." So all the striving I have done has been in vain. All the time I have spent worrying, pretending, acting...meaningless.
Let me note that I don't, by any means, intend to convey that we should get in that selfish rut of "this is just how I am and if you don't like it, too bad." NO! I am not an advocate of anyone being a rude, mean, or self-centered stubborn soul who no one can stand to be around! There is a big difference in trying to be things you are not in a fake way and choosing to love others and treat them with respect...the way you want to be treated yourself.
If we truly love God, He says we will obey His Word and want to display Him to a hurting world. We will want to lay our lives down for others, help them, encourage them, be there for them, and meet them where they are. We will rejoice with them when they rejoice. We will mourn with them when they mourn.
We will do our best to put ourselves in their shoes and understand where they are and what they are walking through.
Can you imagine a world like that? A world where we all stopped to take the time to think about others before ourselves?
It saddens me to sit with a friend who fights feeling guilty for even sharing their struggles. What is there in laying out your weaknesses to feel guilty about! NOT ONE THING. We are ALL messed up heathens that can't meet the mark of the only measure of perfection which is God Himself, and praise Him, He fully recognized that problem and sent His Son Jesus as the answer! To try to be that answer yourself is at best, futile and at worst, idolatrous!
My sweet sons~Don't get caught up in this vicious cycle of trying to be something you can never be. Just be you. In all your junk, just be you. Draw near to Jesus, and He promises He will draw near to you. When you see something about your character that you don't like, don't wallow in self-pity or blame others for its hold on you. Spend time with your Redeemer and you will find yourself becoming like Him. Your time with Him should never be seen as an obligation or burden, it should be your safe refuge...your place to pour out all that vexes your soul. Don't stand far off from Him, trying to be good enough to come to a Holy God. Throw off anything and everything that hinders you, and RUN fast to the One who longs to set you free! Remember: there is NOTHING you can ever do to make Him (or us) love you any less.