Being an example
Who we are and what we do has always been a concern of mine over the years. Always striving to do the “right thing”, and failing, many, many times. But what is the “right thing”? How does my own thoughts of something being right relate to another’s thought of being right? As I get older and experience more and more things, I continue to get enlightened. I have failed and suffered so much anguish and pain because I based my efforts and thoughts on other people’s perspective. Now in my forties, I find it easier to not rely on other people’s judgement, but the gospel of Jesus Christ, also known as the Word.
In reading the Word, believers are to be ambassadors, representatives of Christ. Which gives that challenge of doing things that represent the one that can not be properly represented. There is no way any of us can be like Christ all the time. We don’t have the ability to not sin, fail and struggle. What we can do though is to represent Him. We can think of it like being a member of a group. Like a soldier of an army, a player on a team, we are a part of the overall package, not the solely the package.
I am continuing to understand that I am asked to be strong, be confident. I am to use wisdom, patience and self-control. Now I will be the first to admit, those are not my strong points, but they are the strong points of the one I represent, Jesus. In Him, I can have wisdom, patience and control my actions. A lot of times I will not even attempt to act like I have wisdom. I will not believe that I have patience and many times justify my behavior, not even thinking of self-control. I have now realized that that stinkin’ thinkin’ is from the enemy. When I begin to believe that I don’t have wisdom, patience and self-control, I will not be confident and then there is a high likelihood that I will not be strong.
Now, it is easier said than done to just say I have wisdom and patience. I need to exert those characteristics. Many times my actions are not limited by my potential, but of my beliefs, which are based on my morals, ethics. Unfortunately, I have taken my approvals to the wrong people for many, many years, resulting in a warped basis of the “right thing”. Now with my enlightenment of who I need to take my approval to, life begins to be a lot easier. The pressure to perform and be accepted by others is lifted.
Most of my hesitance to do the Lord’s will is based on what I think others might think, this writing included. There is fear of embarrassment, shame, humiliation. But when I challenge those fears, I realize that I felt those exact feelings many times in my life when I used my free will to do what I thought was right, or what I thought others thought was right, so what is the fear? I have lived through many of my poor mistakes, so what could be the pain of doing the will of my true higher power?
“I know the Lord is with me. I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me.” – Psalms16:8
These challenges of stepping out of my comfort spot and do what I am asked to do, is coming from an internal desire to reach out to the hurting people, the ones without, the ones lost, the ones that feel hopeless, dejected, rejected and worthless. That is a personal challenge that I wrestle with because of my pride. Who am I to not step out and help? To offer encouragement?
“Give as freely as you have received” – Matthew 10:8
I can not even describe how undeserving I am of what I have received. I was so prideful and arrogant that I thought I had it all figured out and like many, I was so far off. Now having received forgiveness, and grace, who am I not to share the joy with the ones in need? The joy to share the happiness and hope is more exciting and fulfilling, way beyond anything of this world. To see the sparkle of hope in the eyes of another soul is something you can not buy. You can not drink, buy, or medicate in any way to even come close to the joy felt. I know, because I have spent 30+ years trying. I question and wish that I would have woke up and learned earlier in my life to experience that much more, but it is also clear that the work done is to allow the appreciation of now into the future.
For now, I will let this personal challenge be shared with you and feel free to provide me your perspectives, ideas and/or thoughts. This is a process and a walk that takes energy and effort to perform. His will be done, not mine.