Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Who knew?

For who do you know that really knows you, knows your heart? And even if they did, is there anything they would discover in you that you could take credit for? Isn’t everything you have and everything you are sheer gifts from God? So what’s the point of all this comparing and competing? You already have all you need. You already have more access to God than you can handle. (I Cor. 4:7-8 MSG)

Who really knows your heart - not mine, not the next guy's, but yours? At first, you might think of someone very close to you and say they come pretty close to really “knowing” us, but do they really? Do they know the intimate workings of our mind (that could be scary), see the inner challenges of daily decisions that we make (uhm...that would be meddling), or understand the pull of our self-nature in every opportunity for compromise that presents itself to us? To be truthful here, no one really has that kind of knowledge of us - but some come "close". There are those who we confide in, but even in the deepest of relationships, we don’t always share ourselves completely, with full transparency in every area of our being - we 'guard' ourselves in some area because it is just not comfortable for us to expose ourselves totally.

There are always going to be challenges faced by the believer in understanding and appreciating the unique character qualities and talents bestowed in their lives. There are always going to be the tendencies of human nature to engage in comparing one’s own talents and abilities to those of another - he has that, she does this. The tendency of our nature is to zero in on some area of performance in the life of another and then to see if we “measure up” to that performance level – in areas that are spiritual, material, physical, or relational. Measuring up is kind of subjective, though, because our 'measuring tape' in life is often skewed by our experiences, beliefs, and sense of 'self-worth'.

The concept of “wanting what the Jones’ have” is not a new concept to the 21st century. It has been a challenge for human beings for as long as man has walked this earth. Even in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were challenged by the fact that they felt God was keeping something from them in forbidding them to partake of the two trees in the Garden. They wanted what they did not possess right now and were willing to pursue it, regardless of the cost. Beware of this kind of 'inward drive', my friends, for 'getting what we want' in this 'very moment' may not always work out the way you hoped! Sometimes we bite off way more than we can chew when this is the drive behind what we are doing!

Everything we have and everything we are is completely a gift of God in our lives. We often claim credit for our accomplishments, focusing attention on our ability or talent, all the while completely missing the fact that God was the creator and the one who bestowed that talent in the first place. Without the gifting God places in our inner man, we would fall short of the ability required to accomplish the very thing we so often take credit for ourselves. Comparison often leads to the conclusion that we are not “gifted” or “talented” because we do not accomplish the same things or walk in the same manner that the one we are observing has accomplished. What we really need to hear (and I mean loud and clear) is that “You already have all you need.” Could it be that easy? It is really a matter of us realizing that the unique way we have been created, including the uniqueness of our personality, make up something of significant usefulness in the hands of a mighty God.

When we get real with ourselves, allow ourselves to get real with others, and then allow God to expose the unique way he has created us to interact with others, building one another up in the special way their are created, we find a great synergy begins to occur. The body of Christ begins to function exactly as he intended - each of us being a building block of greatness in his kingdom. Just sayin!