Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Journey Out of Spiritual Puberty – Principle 2

My two year old, Dylan does not like to accept recommendations really well. As a matter of fact, he doesn’t like to listen really well at all. He mostly just wants to do what he wants when he wants to and he resents it when someone gets in his way. It is no wonder then that he finds himself at odds with authority (us) quite often. The thing is that I do not like it when people under my authority (Dylan) don’t listen to what I say. Therefore, Dylan and I clash a lot…to say the least. It is more like a constant match between two unruly, out-of-control, hot-headed adolescents, never mind the fact that neither of us is actually an adolescent.

At least, Dylan has an excuse: he is 10-years-old. My excuse? I’ve got none.

When I look at the second principle Paul directs us to in our quest for Spiritual maturity as presented in Ephesians chapter 4…I feel utterly ashamed:

2. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (v.2)

This is a command. And I am not following it. Completely humble AND gentle? I am neither. Patient…other than at a doctor’s office or a hospital, I’ve never really been called that. And of course, as a consequence of lacking the first set of requirements, I don’t do the “bearing” thing in love very well either…or perhaps it is because of my inability of lovingly bearing things that I don’t do the first few either? I don’t know…the thing is, how…

How to be humble, gentle, PATIENT and loving?

Have you ever tried on your own? If I could figure out a formula to be any of these I would write the most successful self-help book ever and become instantly rich! But I can’t, because I don’t know how? I don’t know it is humanly possible to become any of these things on our own.

We live in a fallen world and our will is corrupted by that same fallenness. If we could “be good” by our own efforts…why would we need a Savior?

It is His work in us. It is His plowing and watering and nurturing the arid soil of our soul what will grow His fruits in our lives. Our job is to recognize that it is not of our doing. That, I believe, is the secret of humility: to know, beyond a doubt that it is solely by His hand, by His word, by His blood, by His forgiveness, by His presence and by His LOVE for me, for my mind, body and spirit that I can be worthy of being called His own. My act of humility is to search for Him in everything that happens to me and recognize that I am “God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2: 10)

I was created by Him, redeemed by Him and prepared by Him to do His work that He has assigned for me…so I cannot boast.

That’s all I need to know and accept today. There will be a day when the rest will be revealed and I will understand the reasons for the struggles I had to endure while in this life. And this goes for me as well as for my son, some day we will both grow up and figure it out. Meanwhile, like the song by Hawk Nelson, Diamonds says: “He is making diamonds out of dust. He is making diamonds out of us.”

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