Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sweet Discipline

I have been on the child end of some God sized discipline lately.  Its been gentle and affirming, but man has it stung at times.

I had a friend/acquaintance call me out on a post I made several months ago.  At first, it angered me. I thought she was being too sensitive, judgmental and narrow minded. But soon after that awkward and painful confrontation, I realized, she wasn't the one who was being judgmental or narrow minded. I was. The discipline was fairly immediate but I can't say that it stopped there nor that it was swift.  The conversation has played over and over in my brain for months now.  Bits and pieces of what she said stick out in ways I never saw coming.  Its slowly been changing and molding how I see people.  

I realized how much of a snob I had become.  Some people wouldn't know it because I can hide it most of the time, but I had a tendency to judge and pigeon hole people, alienating them based on how I was feeling or how I would be affected by them.  Since that conversation several relationships have been evaluated and I realized I kept certain people at arms length because they didn't fit a standard I thought I needed to keep myself "safe".  I knew i had a self centered tendency but OH BOY I didn't realize the depth of it. 

The song "F*ing Perfect" by Pink has a verse that constantly plays in my head now.

Done looking for the critics
'Cause they're everywhere
They don't like my jeans
They don't get my hair
Strange ourselves
And we do it all the time
Why do we do that?
Why do I do that?

Why do we tear others down because they are different from us or different from the "norm" (whatever that is?) Even if its in the comfort of our close friends or worse the comfort of our own minds.  Sometimes I think its a sport for some of us.  One thing my friend said to me that stuck the most that sits well with the verses above is "as women, why do we find it so easy to tear each other down... I don't want to be part of a church that does that to each other."  Its true. I don't either yet I am one of the worst offenders.  Not maliciously, of course, but more passively which I think can be just as dangerous.

Even though its been months since that conversation, I still have moments when her words come back to me pretty strongly and I find myself smiling at what its still teaching me.  


James 2:1-4 - My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet," have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

James 2:8-10 - If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

Philippians 2:1-8 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!

Hosea 10:12 - Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.

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