You know….the ones everyone can see? I was thinking about this last night as I was brushing my three year old’s teeth.
I had just finished chapter 2 of Because He Loves Me, and was trying to figure out how to put into words everything it made me feel, realize, and understand.
He was wanting me to get to the front teeth, because he knows they are the ones I save for last. He wanted to go play with his Legos before bedtime.
And those front teeth do need to look pretty! Because they are the pearly whites he shows off with his beautiful smile. 🙂
Isn’t that how life is? Always trying to keep up with the world’s way of doing things, making sure we “look pretty” on the outside–rather it is a nice car, nice house, suitable job, good college, sports, popular friends, perfect body. I mean come on, the list could go on and on and fill up this whole blog.
But what if we were no longer concerned with things of THIS WORLD and instead put all our energy into something else? What would that something else be for you? If it could not be of THIS WORLD, what would you focus on?
When you dig deeper into your soul, what do you find? Is it rotten, like your back teeth would be if you never brushed them? Or is it already empty from neglect? Do you have anything in your soul, other than the things of THIS WORLD?
The attitudes of the world–self improvement, self-reliance, self-love, self-promotion, pride, independence, and self-worship–resonate within each of us and drown out our Redeemer’s loving words. (Pg 47)
When you read the first part of that quote, did you think to yourself “those are good things though, right? To be self-reliant, independent, to show self-improvement, to have pride in yourself, to rely on yourself….my goodness, is that not what we are trying to accomplish in this life?”
Read the New Testament and you may notice that we have been wrong all along. Those things are not important at all. Not if the thing you would put all your energy into, if you did not focus on THIS WORLD, is Jesus Christ.
1 John 2:6 says whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.
How did Jesus walk this earth? He walked in genuine love and compassion for others, He did not judge others, He fed the hungry, He defended and comforted the weak and oppressed, He prayed many times daily, His life mission was to share and teach the Good News, He did not seek out attention for His works (often times even asking the person to keep it a secret).
We get so carried away in trying to gain control and power in this world–in our relationships, with our children, peers, sport teams, careers, politics–that we lose sight of Him and His ways. We become relentless in our pursuit of “The American Dream”, that we brush aside any mention of His love, any whisper of correction He places in our hearts, because it may get in our way of winning “the race”.
Something I recognized in this chapter was the emphasis on the fact that Christians should always be GROWING, INCREASING in faith and knowledge.
It always saddens me when I see people bash other Christians for not modeling Christian behavior 100% of the time. Because not one of us is perfect, and the reason any one of us is a Christian is because we recognize that about ourselves, and are seeking Jesus Christ who WE LOVE imperfectly YES, but also IMMENSELY.
We should all be growing, increasing in our faith and knowledge of His Ways.
And to do this, we have to do more than just brush the teeth that everyone sees! We have to take care of the parts of our life (our heart, our soul) that no one else sees (except God). I know for myself, God knows my heart even better than I do. So I really need Him to be able to KNOW MYSELF.
We can not brush Him aside when we are sinning! Those moments of sin are the moments that define our walk in Christ, because they allow us to GROW and INCREASE our knowledge of His Ways. Find the Godly LESSON in your mistake! Don’t ignore Him because you are ashamed of your sin, OR because you want to keep sinning in order to get yourself ahead in THIS WORLD.
Don’t be the person who accepts Jesus and then becomes blind and shortsighted, because you are not GROWING and INCREASING in your faith, because you are focused on your earthly agenda and have forgotten we all are imperfect and are in need of cleansing. And if you are that person, or when you are that person, find Him. Because He is ALWAYS there, and He NEVER changes. And He always loves you.
Ask Him to settle your heart and show you HIS WAYS so that you can GROW and INCREASE in your faith.
And to do this we HAVE to let go of THIS WORLD and put all our energy and love into HIM.
You are God’s treasure. He treasures you.
And your heart needs HIM to show you WHO YOU REALLY ARE.
So don’t be afraid….
For God has given us everything we need for living a godly life…He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may escape the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless and fruitless (stalled in growth) in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. The person who lacks these things is blind and shortsighted, and has forgotten the cleansing from his past sins. 2 Peter 1:3-9
Lucas and I showing off our pearly whites!