Monday, February 13, 2012
SHOULD I BE SOMEONE ELSE?
The simple answer to that is a resounding, “No!” God knew me completely before I was ever formed and yet He loved me… ME, not someone else, ME. But I have trouble getting my mind and heart wrapped around that truth. Even my own mother once suggested that “if” I was someone else, things might have worked out better. Knowing that there are others who seem to “wish” that I was someone else is difficult to live with. Praise God I can know who does love me exactly as I am.
One time, while playing a game of “Imagineiff” an opportunity came up to play a higher scoring one-on-one round with my cousin. She knows me quite well and she is very honest so I was sure she would pick the same answer as I would, even though the answer was a little condemning. The question was “Imagine if (Cheryl) was a timepiece, what would she be?” The choices varied from a watch to an alarm clock, but included something that described me to a “T.” And, as I knew she would, she chose “time bomb.” We scored big! It was a lot of fun. But being a time bomb is no fun at all.
Two places where I am reading and studying right now are very adamant about confessing our sins and leaving guilt behind on the Cross and moving on with our day. In Hebrews 10, the power of Christ’s death on the cross is shown to be absolutely the way through which we have better holiness. He has forgiven our sins “once and for all”, and we need to accept that forgiveness and move on with our lives every single day. That is the emphasis that Max Lucado gives in his book, Every Day Deserves a Chance.” I’m thinking I need to listen here.
Have you ever spent time thinking that you would love to be the “quiet” one because you feel that you are too “noisy?” Or, perhaps you are the quiet one and you wish you could speak up more? Have you ever admired the one who seems to never complain about anything and smiles all the time and then thought how much better it might be to be like that? One time in a bible study the question came up, “How would you describe a saintly Christian?”
I started the answering with this personal observation: The woman who shares her life with God openly, struggles and triumphs, ups and downs, all giving light to the power of God in her and the strength of Christ’s sacrifice for her as she moves along the path to a closer walk with Him. (Well. I was not all that eloquent since I had been seeking God’s path for me for a very short time, but nonetheless….) My picture was of openness and honesty.
As I had presupposed, other answers took an entirely different outlook. In my arrogance I called it the “Don’t bother me with your real life” syndrome. They went toward the woman or man who keeps personal needs close to the breast and smiles, saying fine when asked “How are you doing?” and not bothering us with the real struggles going on. God bless those who share with at least a few, because they know they need the power of prayer in their lives.
Anyway, I guess the point I am making to myself is that, for now, sainthood is a declaration of our position in Christ but will one day be the condition in which we live. For now, we are needy and feeling guilty and forgetting the power within us to grow into the person Christ wants us to be, rather than be that person right now. He is delighted with us and loves us exactly as we are and He will never let us go because we are not perfect. We are who we are because God knew who we were when He chose us and saved us from our sins. We have no need to be someone else. WE are who God LOVES. We are His Masterpiece.
By the way, I do not advocate blubbering your problems to everyone who asks, “How are you?” But I am suggesting that we need to be involved enough in some small group where we can at least share what we struggle with knowing that it will be held in confidence but also knowing that others will be holding us up before God in our needs. Group praise will eventually follow as God hears and works in our lives. That is what the Christian community is about: sharing the greatness of God and bringing Him the Glory for all. May we all recognize an earnest inquiry and ask for prayer from those who really care. Meanwhile, let’s drop the “guilt” of not being perfect and get on with gratitude for each and every day. May God help us.