Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Annoying Little Fact About How I Act At Home...

Years ago, I was taught that we are, each of us, only as spiritual--as loving, patient and like Jesus--as we are in our own we behave with the people who know us best.


At first, my mind rebelled against that thought. My brain reminded me of all the 'important work' I was doing... all the Bible classes I was teaching, people I was counseling, all the encouraging letters I snail-mailed every month and the long Bible passages I read each day. I longed, instead, to believe all that was proof of how spiritual I really, really had become.

But pretty fast, I knew that the teacher had been indeed, correct. I saw it, suddenly, rather like a lowest common denominator sort of thing. Remember those dreadful lowest common denominator exercises from elementary school? Well, once again I saw them as dreadful because I realized--gasping and moaning--that my often-pathetic behavior toward Tom and Naomi (and various other relatives) was the lowest common denominator which brought down, lowered, the bright, overly-rated picture I had of my own spiritual standing. It was an unavoidable, not-get-around-able fact. Every time.

Of course, this is a little hard to explain, and I can only hope you're getting my overall meaning. I'm not talking about being good so I'll get into Heaven (heaven forbid), nor am I talking about 'works,'necessarily, or earning or deserving favor by my own good deeds.

No, I'm talking about letting Jesus speak and walk and live through through me. And well, I have only died to self and allowed Him to change me and take over to the extent of how I live that out around people who know me best. That's where it comes down to the lowest common denominator thing again... I cannot be more holy, more spiritual, more kind--in reality--than I am in my own home. It's impossible. I may believe I am a super-Christian because of the way I treat those who look up to me, but, always, it will come down to the way I treat those around whom I let my hair down. Right there is my true spiritual level.

I hope that makes sense... God used that one realization to humble me... or phrased another way-- to deflate me flat as a pancake.

It was, and still is, a Good Thing.


"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." James 1:22

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