Saturday, 17 December 2011

Bending not breaking

Human beings are amazing creations capable of enormous acts of compassion, love and service. Our ability to chose to prefer others needs before our own seems to set us apart from other creations who appear to be driven mainly by more viceral objectives.

Yet, in acknowledging our freedom to chose how and who we are going to be one also has to accept that we (and others) may chose to be less than concerned with the plight of our fellow man and more focussed on our own wants or vulnerabilities. 

If I truly believe that my mind can be renewed so that I can understand what God's will is, and if I am convinced that along with being inseparable from the love of God there is also nothing to fear from man, why then would I allow any feeling to disable me from remaining vulnerable to others?

The question then seems not to be about whether or not other people will hurt me or indeed whether they have chosen to set aside selfish or destructive desires, but more where I chose to place the foundation of my security. If it is placed in relationships with other people, they will, eventually fail to remain pain free. If I put my security in my construct of who God is, that too will ultimately dissapoint since I am just as prone as any to shape God in my own image and have to regularly remind myself that His ways and thoughts are higher..  in the end then, the only place in which personal security can be found is in the God of the bible, the Jesus who saw the same sun from the perspective of an earth dweller and the Spirit who lives in me, works through me and goes before me.

Understanding this, and acting as if this were true are unfortunately two different things. I may understand that the fruit of the spirit that lives in me is a character of love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control, but my sometimes not so dead sinful self remains and intends to impose self, vengeance, misery, impatience, unkindness, harm and impulsive lashouts on anyone who offends me.   It does not escape me that my will can be easily bent in one direction or another, and I am thankful that so far I have not experienced a regression back to my sinful selfs obsessions sufficient to make it impossible to bend back towards responding to the conditioning of the spirit, and I'm thankful that the ability to chose to overrule a feeling with a decision to chose Christ and His ways is possible however much my vulnerable heart may wish to promote other outcomes. 

Is this ability to trump emotions with decisions unique to humans?   Is the ability to chose Christ when our inclination is to protect ourselves a demonstration of God's irresistible grace or recognition that it is only in the trinity of God that ultimate security can be found? I'm not sure I know the answer to that, but I know that bending is better than breaking. Breaking is what happens when I chose to not respond to the tenderness of the spirit, and brokeness is always repairable if I can get past myself to see how Christ sees and feels. 

The challenge then is not to ignore what I feel but to continually submit to the restored 'spirit within' design for human beings that the creator God fashioned in us, relating first with the security that God brings, before attempting to relate to the rest of the world he spoke into being.

Lord help me to get into my stubborn will the temperate nature of your Spirit's fruit. Make security in me not something that is based on any earthly person, yet help me extend grace, mercy, tenderness and love to those I encounter. Let me glimpse as much of my future home as I can stand and still be content to live here and may I be useful to you bearing whatever cost for the sake of your kingdom.     Your grace is enough, your mercy is new every morning. My grace and mercy needs to be the same towards others, help me with that.