About Me

Monday, July 21, 2014

It's MY Stuff! But is it really?

Conversation with my 6-year-old this morning went something like this:

Maya: I don't want her to play! (Talking about her 2-yr-old sister)
Me: Why not?
Maya: Because she always messes everything up. And besides - it's MY STUFF!
Me: Actually since I bought it - it's MY stuff and you don't have the right to keep it all to yourself.

As those words were coming out of my mouth, it was as if God was saying them to me.

Truth is, sometimes I'm a six-year-old. I want what I want and I don't want to share. Not talking about toys here (although that probably applies to more grown-ups than you might think).  I'm talking about my money, my time, my resources, myself - anything that I have that could be used of God to bless someone else or to further His kingdom work.  It all belongs to Him.  Everything I have...everything I am or could be - it's all because of God.  I have absolutely NO right to keep it all to myself.  

16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above,coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created."  James 1:16-18

Growing in Grace

I’m a rule follower.  Always have been.  I see things as right and wrong / black and white.  You’re either following the rules or you’re a rule-breaker.  You’re either doing it the “right” way or you’re not.

I’m also a confessor.  Every little tiny thing that I do that might be even a tiny little bit wrong has to be confessed as soon as possible to whomever might be around me at the time.  I can’t help it.  I cannot live with guilt for any period of time without it eating me up inside.  My confessions are often met with laughter that I felt the need to confess something so very small.  Example.  I went to Target a while back and bought about $50 worth of nothing important – pretty little clearance things…dollar spot things…things I have no need for whatsoever but had a fun time picking out and purchasing.  I joked with my daughter (who was with me) to not tell Daddy that I bought such silly things.  On the way home, I called him and confessed.  I thought he was going to laugh his cute little face off.  Can’t help it. 

I wish that we, as Christ followers, felt the kind of safety that would allow us to confess like that to each other.  I wish that we, as Christ followers, showed that kind of transparency to one another on a day-to-day basis.  I think that it might grow some sort of grace in us towards each other if we were allowed to confess to each other without the threat or fear of being judged.  Imagine for a minute that you felt so loved, so accepted that you were able to confess the thing that’s eating you up inside to people who could help you find your way back to guilt-free living.  Imagine a place where there is SO much grace that you never feared making mistakes … and you felt free to take a risk and be yourself – your REAL self.  Is there anyone in your life that you can confess to?  Share with?  Be real with?

Now – ask yourself this – are you the kind of person that someone would feel safe confessing to?  Are you filled with Acceptance?  Compassion?  Grace? 

Every day, I pray that God would grow His grace in me.  That He would make me the kind of person that other people would feel comfortable sharing life with.  I pray that He would teach me to love the way that He loves, and to show the kind of kindness to others that He has shown to me.  Sometimes I get it right.  Sometimes I don’t.  Either way, I fall on grace.  Grace is always the goal.  The fruit of a Spirit-driven, Christ-following, God-worshipping life is always the goal.

“To pray is to change.  This is a great grace.  How good of God to provide a path whereby our lives can be taken over by love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness and faithfulness and gentleness and self-control.”
Richard J. Foster

“The Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion.”
Isaiah 30:18