Friday, March 22, 2019

But...it is shameful

A great many of us would admit that there are "chapters" or "portions" of our lives that we'd like no one to actually remember or know about at all. We have some failures we'd rather no one really knew about, dreams that seem kind of silly when pondered by anyone other than us, and problems with memories that we just cannot seem to let loose of no matter how hard we try. These "pages" or "portions" of our lives are worked into our lives as 'indelible ink' is worked into paper. It is through the passage of time and the events of the days gone by that they form into 'permanent' parts of our lives. Most people don't have the guts to invite God to investigate their life - to read those "hidden chapters" like they were an open book. Most don't want God to get second-hand knowledge of their actions, attitudes, or attributes - we'd rather rest in the assurance that he gets this information about us 'first-hand', because we know he can be trusted to 'know' this stuff about us and still love us!

God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand. I'm an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I'm thinking. You know when I leave and when I get back; I'm never out of your sight. You know everything I'm going to say before I start the first sentence. I look behind me and you're there, then up ahead and you're there, too—your reassuring presence, coming and going. This is too much, too wonderful—I can't take it all in! (Psalm 139:1-6)

Learning to live life as an open book is pretty scary - especially when we are living this way before others, not just God. As long as the less desirable "chapters" of our lives can be "edited out", we are okay with letting others "read us" - to know the 'details' of our lives that seem to us to be kind of shameful or distasteful. We'd like the "editing" rights to our lives - but that is not our job - we don't get to control what others observe about us. At best, we are second-rate writers - so how do we expect to be first-rate editors? There is only one editor that will do the job right the first time - that is Jesus Christ. He knows exactly what needs to be seen in our lives and what others need not ever know about us, but to live life as an open book before him means we are willing to allow him to open up those chapters for others to learn from, as well.

Why is it that we resist the "editing" work of Christ in our lives? It could be we have some element of shame attached to those hidden things - having done things we are not at all proud of now. It could be that we have secret aspirations that we have held for years, all the while too fearful to share them because we have listened to the lies of others telling us that we will never amount to much and could never see them fulfilled, no matter how hard we try. Or still, it could be that we just don't think we've done well in the "writing" of our lives and we don't believe there is much contained in the "chapters" that anyone would benefit from "reading". Here's the honest truth - your life is filled with things that bring you shame, but Christ has the ability and desire to edit those shameful events and memories so the shame is no longer there. Your life's dreams matter and Christ desires to make dreams a reality. Your life may not be monumental in the eyes of others, but in his sight, it is magnificent. Learning to live life as an open book is indeed difficult, but it is equally as rewarding. Isn't it time to allow the "editing" work of the hand of Christ in your life so that what has been 'worked in' and 'worked out' in your life can be of benefit to others, as well? Just askin!

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