Sunday, June 2, 2013
"When things don't go your way, accept the situation immediately. If you indulge in feelings of regret, they can easily spill over into...resentment. .... Remember I am Sovereign over all your circumstances...and humble yourself under My Mighty Hand."
-Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young, May 22nd reading
I usually pride myself on my ability to see and visualize potential in a person, project, room, etc. To see what a thing can be...could be, is indeed a blessing...but can too quickly lead to pride and disappointment.
This excerpt from Jesus Calling hit me hard because it poked at a soar spot I have been struggling with...resentment.
Because I can envision what a thing or a person could or should be, I can get so fixed on that image, that I come to resent what is actually before me. I can't accept what I actually see and have because I know it could be better.
When I get transfixed on perfection, improvement and constantly visualize a better version of something, I am actually doing a number of negative things.
1. Lift myself up in pride, declaring I know best. When we look at a person or a thing and instantly chalk up a list of criticisms and improvements, we are functioning out of pride. Pride says, "I am better...others always have flaws...I can pick them out and see what needs changing." That is the opposite of love. Love overlooks an offense (Prov. 17:9), it is kind, does not boast, is not proud or rude (1 Cor. 13:4-5).
Our pride however can lead to...
2. Trying to take control myself. Do you remember the story of Sarai (Sarah), wife of Abram (Abraham- their names had not yet been changed at this point)? She saw a situation...her husband, with no heir...her womb with no child, and thought she had a solution. She had become disappointed with God and his timing, she looked and thought she saw a way to get things done. And she made it happen. In the end it caused heart ache and discord.
3. Essentially make an idol out of my ideals. By putting so much importance on our 'perfect versions' and ideal people, we are actually making that/them a sort of idol. They distract us from God and absorb our energies. We lift up that image believing it is the best...that when we have reached its realization, then, then we will be happy.
Can you imagine if God responded the way I do? If He looked at things through my eyes?
Just imagine the perspective God has on life and the realm of possibilities He sees.
God is the only one who will ever see all of our potential...what we could have been like had sin not gotten to us first...and it far surpasses the 'ideal version' we can ever conjure up for ourselves.
What if, when He looked at us, He resented and despised us because of how inferior we are to His perfect model? No matter what we did, it would never be good enough because His good enough is so vastly beyond what we could ever attain.
What if He saw us like that?
And He could, you know...if it weren't for grace.
Because of grace...
when God looks at us, He sees us through the Blood of Jesus...
covered in His promises, blessings, righteousness, and authority.
Time doesn't separate His perception of us...He sees our past, present and future-self all rolled up into one...He sees what will be like once we have completed this life and stand without all the junk of the world on us...completed...whole...new.
When God looks at me, He extends forgiveness towards me. He doesn't bring up my faults and failures to shame me or try to force me to change and improve.
When God looks at me, He extends love towards me. Gently, carefully, He molds and refines me. Imagine if He acted out of pride, He would tackle all of our faults and sins at once, and that would be too much to bear at one time.
Through the eyes of grace and love, God sees me.
Now I need to do the same when I look at others.
"Remember that I am Sovereign."
I am a little I person, He is a big God.
"Humble yourself before My Mighty Power."
His power working in others and in me is what makes change possible.
Be humble enough to extend grace and forgiveness, and humble enough to let God take care of it.