Monday, November 12, 2012

Fortify Areas of Weakness

Three times tonight - I heard the exact same metaphor. That there is one string, that when tugged, will make everything unravel.

I heard it from my roommate. I heard it on two tv shows. Shows I arguably should not have been watching because my bible study group is doing a week of fasting - and I am fasting from tv. Because I have weak spots, and these weak spots have the ability to unravel my life. TV is something I'll go to in place of God, or friends, or to avoid important tasks.

When knitting, you really only have one string. When things start getting really complicated you throw a lot of colors or techniques in there. But it all just comes back simple loops guided by needles. And these tiny loops all add up to form a fabric. But if you miss just one of these, you have the potential to unwind your whole work to that point. Can you imagine how frustrating that it? You've been working on something particular for days, and upon completion you find out half of it needs redone. Only skilled, practiced knitters can fix these slips without letting it derail the whole project.

Life is often like that. Every little gap we find is an opportunity to either undo everything and go back several steps. Or, as we grow wiser, learn to fortify the gaps we find without letting it destroy what we've achieved so far. Or worse, ignore the need to fix it, and leave these areas wide open for anyone to tug at, and tear you down at any time.

Monday, November 5, 2012

People are People and Drama is for your Mama

It doesn't really matter where you are.  Work.  Home.  Church.  There's drama pretty much everywhere people are.

The thing is, people are unequivocally human.  By definition, that means we have flaws, secrets, and dark sides.  We're not perfect, and I think this is pretty well known.  Theoretically.

In fact we are so not perfect, we are really, really good at finding out just how much everyone is not perfect.  We love to talk about our imperfections.  Did I say ours?  I meant yours.

We all do it.  I can feel you resisting just a hair, denying this fact even as you read it.  But drama is something we love in our televisions and in our lives.  When we're hurt or something goes not quite how we had planned out for ourselves, we tend to lash out at others to an extent.  We're hurt, and this is how we have learned to cope.  Analytically, we seek to find out what went wrong and then "fix" it.

We are quick to focus on the faults of others, and this often leads to guilt, finger-pointing, and gossip.  But we lack compassion to see and care for their faults and flaws, instead ostracizing, creating walls, or "fixing" coworkers, family, friends, and churches.  We are quick to focus on others because we often lack the ability to see our own flaws.  Or because it's scary to really admit our own flaws.  Really scary.

"For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you." Roman 12:3 

Paul says ever-so-politely: "you're full of crap sometimes."  Thinking of yourself more highly than you ought, or ignoring your own flaws and misgivings, is being less than honest with yourself.  And by extension, it's being less than honest with others, because they have to live with you, and they have to embrace you even as you place blame on them for what's not on track in your life.

But as you prepare to be brutally honest with yourself, remember grace.  You're forgiven for your sins if you've accepted Christ into your life, and confessed those flaws.  And as you realize you've been given grace in your life, work to extend that to others.  Just as you need it, your neighbor needs it.  Because none of us is perfect, but we can still all love one another despite our flaws.

"...according to the grace given us." Romans 12:6a