The last couple weeks around wordpress.com has given cause to some deep thought on my part.
I think. I have as long as I can remember. Maybe I come by it naturally, my parents are thinkers, there are thinking branches in my family tree – so yeah, I probably do.
I excelled as a critic as a young man. I could find the fault, the flaw, the reason to discredit faster than any of my peers. And then one day I realized that I could count all my friends on my fingers and have a couple left over. Fingers, I mean. My critical bent sent acquaintances scurrying and consistently pared down the number of people who considered themselves my friends. I remember standing in the cafeteria line in college, talking as we always did, when Tim said to me, “If you look up and I’m just gone all of a sudden, it’s because leaving is probably a better choice than hitting you.” And he did a time or two. I asked one of my profs if he had any suggestions for me. I was sick of repelling good people.
“Think critically, without being critical,” he told me, “do you understand the difference? Do you know what I mean when I say that?“ I did. My Master drew all men to Himself (John 12.32) but my critical spirit wasn’t helping things any. From that day forward I set out to think and reason, but not at the expense of another.
So when the topic came up, “Are we afraid of our own greatness?” here on wordpress, the most recent being Sharla’s thoughts (Oct 16) and reference to Alex’s post here on “raindrops of sunshine”, it presented an opportunity to think critically without being critical.
I know my own focus has turned away from my own potential in the last couple of years, but I want to be careful how I express myself. So I’ve been thinking between mile-markers on the expressway, at too-long stop-lights, and when my mind drifts away from the images on the TV screen across the room. “Why do I feel differently than I used to? I used to sing the inner-potential song loud ‘n long. What changed?”
‘Nuff thinking … I’ve boiled my thoughts down to a few.
In a sentence or two it’s this: I’m fully aware of the juxtaposed truths that as one who has accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and am living in the light of obedience, I have the full rights of an adult son before Almighty God. John 1.12 is true of me. So is Hebrews 10.18-25. But so is Romans 7, really, that ever-present awareness that I’m not man enough to live the life God expects of me. I need the promise of Romans 8.1 to breathe life into my hope day after day. I need Him to live the life through me that He would want to see. Colossians 3.1 – 17 needs to be mine in principle and in practice. Galatians 2.20 needs to be a living reality for me. God wants to live through me – the hard part is stepping aside and letting Him.
I guess when it comes right down to it, me ‘n’ Mephibosheth have a lot in common. Do you remember him? He’s not mentioned a lot in Scripture, primarily 2 Samuel ( 4:4, 9:6-13, 16.1-4, and 19:24-30. 21.7-8 too but it’s not as clear).
Mephibosheth received the blessings of being loved by King David because he was Jonathan’s son. It was because of whose child he was, not because of who he was. Me too. God loves me because of His son — not because I’m all that.
By rights Mephibosheth shouldn’t have eaten at the king’s table every day, but mercy and grace brought him in close and right up to the head table. Me either. Me too. (Thank you, m’ Lord)
He had trouble walking. Me too — spiritually. Sometimes cracks in the sidewalks get me too, but mostly spiritually.
The king sought him out. Romans 5.8 says I was sought-out too. Amazing.
Mephibosheth didn’t need to be afraid of his king. Me either. God shows me His kindness because He’s decided to.
My obedience increases the measure of His blessing, true, but He loved first. See 1 John 4.19.
So yes, I have full access to Almighty God, as an adult son, as a joint-heir with Christ, but it’s because of whose I am, not who I am. My alleged righteousness? Nasty. (Isaiah 64.6).
I have hope. I have confidence. I have promise, ambition, drive, dreams and plans. But they’re not mine. Mine are puny and get me in trouble every time I take my eyes off my Savior, Redeemer and Friend. But His? Ephesians 3.20-21 says “Look-out! You can’t even imagine!” He’s able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope, and He (God) is the one we’ll give our honor to when He amazes us all.
Me ‘n’ Mephibosheth — we have a lot in common.