Skip to main content

Seek the 'advantageous additions'

I have to admit to being a totally insecure individual when I was growing up. I thought nobody could every like me, that my life was always 'less than' someone else's, and that I needed to do or give things to get somebody to really like me. What a crock of lies that was! God made me complete with all kinds of wonderful character traits and yet I totally sold myself short. I just didn't think of myself as much of a 'bargain' when it came to relationships. In fact, I thought I'd have to really 'market' myself to get 'liked'. Truth be told, bargains are kind a neat thing! I have come across individuals in my lifetime that proclaim to be pretty awesome individuals, only to find out they lack a lot in the 'awesomeness' realm! What I found out is that what they proclaimed would be an 'advantageous addition' to my life by simply being in relationship with them was no real 'advantage' at all - the bargain was flawed! Sometimes we sell ourselves short - other times we promote ourselves at a little bit of an inaccurate descriptor! Remember this...made up 'bargains' are not really bargains at all!

Don't for a minute envy careless rebels; soak yourself in the Fear-of-God — that's where your future lies. Then you won't be left with an armload of nothing. (Proverbs 23:17-18)

In relationships with each other, we need to remember a "bargain" is really not a "bargain" whenever it is like loading ourselves up with "armloads of nothing". We find we have been "sucked into" the frenzy of believing the "false claims" of the things portrayed outwardly, but there is something definitely quite different we come to see inwardly in that individual. We load ourselves up with all kinds of supposedly "good things" and "good relationships" in our lives - but we do it without truly thinking (in a frenzy - in a hurry - without attentive thought). We have a natural "bent" of comparing ourselves to others. We see another walk past us and in an instant, our minds go into the "processing mode" of analyzing how they are dressed, how their hair style fits their "look", and maybe even evaluating their other physical attributes (such as fat/skinny, tall/short, blemishes/perfect skin). In one quick glance, we form all kinds of opinions. It is like we have one of those infrared scanner devices in our mind's eye, passing each "subject" over it, registering the "coded" information we store in our brains, and then coming to a conclusion just as quickly.

The danger lies in the immediacy of how quickly we jump from our own place of contentment to envying others who "pass our scanners" with the "appearance" of having it all together! You know, if you have ever seen me on a 'perfectly put together' morning, you might even have come to this very conclusion about me! The conclusion that says, "There goes someone who has it all together." I hate to burst your impression of me, but I do NOT have it all together - rarely do I even reach the point of 'looking like' I have it all put together! I struggle with judging others, involving myself in conversations which would be better off not said, and being careless in so many choices, just to name a few of my not so 'bargain-like' behaviors and attitudes! None of us is above envying the carelessness of those who seem to have life by the horns - living by their own might. We just naturally jump to the conclusion they must "have it all together". The cold reality is those very individuals we envy are probably struggling terribly just beneath the surface! One who is without Christ is without hope. Although they may possess every physical attribute man considers worth having, they lack the one which assures them lasting peace, unending joy, and constantly renewed faith in hard times.

Soak yourself in God - wise words indeed. Why? Simply stated - one without Christ has no real hope for the future. Theirs is a life of "today" without any real sense of what tomorrow will bring - they seem to have all the 'advantages' of life today, but they lack the real advantage of what eternity could hold for them in Christ. One who rightly pursues Christ as the center of their life will not always know what circumstances tomorrow will bring, but they will know who holds them close as they venture into each new day. I wonder how many times we senselessly pursue armloads of nothing. If our arms are so packed with "nothing", when Jesus offers us "something", we have little room to accept his greater gift. It is only as we lay down the armloads of nothing that we are able to embrace the things of greatest worth that Christ desires to bestow upon us. It is not in how "full" one's arms are that we "judge" the greatness of an individual - it is the "load" those arms carry! Christ told us his "load" was light, unlike the armloads we amass in our frenzy of envy! One more thought - the armloads the careless rebels amass are acquired in haste. The armloads of blessing God gives are acquired in moments of stillness. Sometimes the greatest "load" we carry is the peace of having "offloaded" a burden we were never meant to carry in the first place! Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean