Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Looking Inwardly

Sometimes we do the worst things with the best of intentions. When I say this, I don't mean "they" or "those people." I mean "we." I mean LOOK inwardly. And it will quiet us instantly. It's not as fun as pointing the finger at others, but it is what is right.

It is so easy to do wrong in the name of what we feel is right.  I see it in myself far too often. Growing up, whenever I wanted to say something bad about somebody else, my father would always stop me. He would remind me that all of those things I see in the other person were, to some extent, true of me.  What he meant was that when we see others doing things we don't like, we should realize we are no picture of perfection ourselves. Thinking that way really shuts you up.

And I didn't like that.  I wanted to talk about this other person.  I wanted to focus on everything that was wrong with this other person.  And why? Because of the one truth that is common to most of us. We would rather feel better about ourselves by tearing apart, criticizing, and focusing on all of those who are "much worse off" than we are.  This is why reality shows that magnify that faults of all of the "screwed up" people are so popular. 

Several years ago, I was wronged very badly by some people.  My entire reputation, personal sense of pride, and security were all being mercilessly attacked over a lie. The other people were wrong. They were wronging me. Why? I am not entirely sure. I believe I may have upset them by doing something that I felt was right and they did not like it.  

However, I was humiliated. I wanted to PROVE myself.  I wanted so badly to prove I had done nothing wrong and that these were bad people.  I wanted everyone to know how bad these people were.  I wanted to prove how wrong they were. I wanted them to face the consequences for what they had done wrong.  But none of that happened.

As I continued to  try to save my reputation, I only made matters worse.  And  I was faced with the truth that I needed to LET GO of my pride and quietly move on with life.  If I was doing right and I KNEW I was doing right, what did it matter what others said of me and what case they tried to prove about me? It didn't. It was only my pride I was desperately trying to scramble back together.  And God didn't want my pride in tact.  He wanted me to embrace my hardship quietly and confidently.
Keep your mouth closed.  Don't worry about what others think of you. And continue to do what is right KNOWING and TRUSTING that you have someone much greater to vouch for you--Jesus Christ. 

Humiliation is a part of life.  I believe we are all humiliated at some point in our lives.  The difference is in how we handle it.  I think of how Christ handled humiliation at the cross when insults were slung at him.

He said nothing even when the worst people were publicly humiliating him-- KEEP YOUR MOUTH CLOSED

He continued to carry the cross-- DO WHAT IS RIGHT 

And he quietly and confidently defeated sin and death to rise victorious.

I think that having faith that I have someone else to be my mouthpiece makes it easier to look inwardly.  I think it helps me to admit I am a sinner.  I do wrong.  And I am beyond thankful that I have Jesus Christ to forgive me for when I am wrong and give me grace and power to become less of myself and more of who he is. Even today, I was thinking about some things I had done wrong, and I had done them so quickly with no thought initially that they were wrong. It was only later when I reflected that I realized I owed somebody a sincere apology from the heart. 

So often, we just point the finger at what is wrong with everyone else going on about how we know what is right when we really just need to be quiet and in awe that God has given us so much grace and love.  And simply be thankful.