Monday, February 4, 2013

Seeing your need for Jesus all the time.

Hey there,

I'm sitting in the hallway in the science building of my school and I just got out of class about 45 minutes ago. Without God and without how much I have grown over the years, I would not be able to survive a class environment like the one I am in. The people in there are so closed off and very awkward. You try being warm with them and it's like pulling teeth. It's okay, I know it's not something they are used to. That's why I don't hold it against them. That's what I used to do in high school. I didn't understand people or human interaction or the fears that we all have when I was younger. So, when people would ignore me or I would get a certain impression, I would shut down and keep to myself; thinking that there's something wrong with me and that other people are just mean. These days, if someone doesn't want to talk to me, I see it as maybe that person has a problem and I don't attribute the problem to myself. I'm not going to concern myself with their negativity. If they warm up to me eventually, so be it, I won't hold their previous behavior against the person. In the mean time, I now just move on to the next person who will talk to me; and there usually is someone who is willing to talk. Anyway, I have changed so much because of God, it's absolutely incredible. I would have been discouraged and angry and lonely after a day like this; and my ability to learn would have suffered just like it did in high school because I would be too afraid to ask anyone for help. Now that I have more confidence in the Father and more wisdom in how to navigate strange situations like these, I am better able to cope and be resilient. This reminds me of what was revealed to me last week.

Last week I went to the Intervarsity Christian club meeting on my campus. They had worship service and then a guest speaker talked about betrayal and some of the worst forms of betrayal. He said he was reading Psalm 55 and explained how one of the worst forms of betrayal can happen when you trust someone and then they go on to betray you. And then he said imagine who this person could be in your life. He read Luke 5:27-32:

27 After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, 28 and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.
29 Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. 30 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
31 Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

With this, he explained that Levi was like that person who betrayed you. He was one of the worst people you could be within that time period and culture. Levi was spiritually unhealthy. But what did Jesus do? He called Levi and Jesus hung out with Levi and all of his tax collector friends. Some Pharisees came up to them and asked Jesus why He was hanging out with tax collectors and sinners, and above you can see Jesus' reply.

He said, sometimes, as Christians, we who think we are doing spiritually well don't realize that we are still sick. Sickness is deep and Jesus is the only One who can help us with our sickness and depravity. No matter how close we think we are to Jesus, we still have ways in which we are unhealthy. We have to ask Jesus to bring healing into out lives because we will always be sick.

He said the one who betrayed us may seem so far from Jesus and we may want to label them as sinners, tax collectors, the worst of the worst when in actuality, no matter how close we think we are, we're probably just as sick as the other guy or still just as prone to sickness as the other guy.

He said, what are some ways that you are unhealthy? He asked, don't you need a doctor?

It blew my mind because I was seeing myself as someone who was spiritually healthy, pursuing God or at least trying, and acknowleding God in my life. Then when somone I perceived as, "not in a good place" started to hurt me, I started looking at that person in a negative light and elevating myself in view of my relationship to Jesus. This lesson came into my life at just the right time. I was getting prideful of my own relationship with God and thinking this person is in a bad place, such a bad place for hurting me like this. Yes, it may be true that this sister of mine is in a pretty bad place but I'm not better than she is. I'm still sick and I still need to be like Jesus and love her, spend time with her, and not cut her out of my life. Not that I wanted to cut her out of my life, but that is my natural tendency. Same with these people that I'm going to school with. My natural tendency is to go inward, get angry, lose patience, and isolate myself from the people I perceive as hurting me and sick. Jesus would look at these people, see their hearts, and have compassion on them.

I'm learning to be more like Jesus, if anything, in situations where I feel hurt or when others I care for are hurt. I'm learning to love like Jesus loved and to love from a place of compassion and not obligation.

For my sister, I hurt for her. I do. I see the pain she carries and I'm sad. I know she doesn't want to hurt me but she wants to preserve herself. She wants something for herself to make her feel good. I get that. I see that. And I'm sorry. She sees an opportunity and she's taking it; regardless of how I feel. I understand. It's painful and I don't want her to be hurt. I don't want to be hurt either, but since I am a bit healthier, it's my obligation to love her and to perceive her heart. I may not know exactly what's wrong like Jesus but I can intuit what might be the problem or the issue and act accordingly: from a compassionate place.

I can only hope that within me I can be sustained with whatever happens and that I can operate from a place of godliness and love for God and love for my fellow man, than a place of selfishness and love for myself. I only know my selfishness will lead to destruction and the hollowness of a Pharisee. I don't want to lack warmth and love in my life. I don't want to lose compassion because of my own dreams that I'm trying to fulfill in my own time. I want what is good, deep in my heart, and I can only hope that this deep longing will hold me back from when my anxiety wells within me.

I hope that this was inspiring. I have learned more since January 23rd, but I chose to focus on one thing that just really blew my heart into a new space. Maybe if I updated more often, this wouldn't happen, lol. Anyway, praise God for revelations and changes in our hearts. It's all for His glory, the betterment of others and ourselves.

In Christ.

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