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 homes...as 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