Tuesday, February 06, 2007
"What Is That To You?"
"Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them... When Peter saw him, he asked, "Lord, what about him?"
Jesus answered, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me." John 21: 20-22
Now there's a couple verses which will set you free! Might even make you more popular around Blogland...who knows?
I mean, for way too long I let myself feel discouraged and intimidated when I'd listen to my Christian friends telling me about their latest Christian exploits and good deeds and ministries. You know, how they were reading hours of the Bible and praying each day and going to church every night and how their kids were 'on fire' and becoming little ministers and how God was using their whole family to change, well, the whole, entire world.
And I'd have to practically hold my head up with my hands to keep it from drooping in discouragement or intimidation or guilt (whatever). And I'd walk away with this weighty "I-just-can't-keep-up-with-the-big-kids' feeling draped over me like a curtain.
But how wonderful to really get--once and for all--Jesus' marvelous words: "...what is that to you? You must follow me." Wow! Took me long enough to realize we all have different callings and gifts and talents and ministries--and a unique friendship with God. We each have different roads to take because we're all meant to be blessings and a help to different people. And not all people will respond to every testimony, every life journey.
I felt actually refreshed when I realized what matters is that I obey what God is telling me to do. Not that I keep up with anyone. Not that I arrive in Heaven with the same testimony, the same story, my Christian friends had. For actually, if I do, then somewhere I probably jumped the unique track God placed me down on to follow.
And here's the best thing--when I truly get a hold of minding my own obedience, instead of everyone else's, then I can allow others to live their own lives and believe things I, myself, don't' believe. Because there comes a kind of trust--a knowing that God can get through to anyone if I can but give them some slack and pray some prayers instead of arguing with people in their comment boxes (for example), believing that if only I can change their minds, they'd be ok.
Instead, I'm finding a changed mind isn't even enough--God is all about changed hearts (which will bring about changed minds in due season). And only God can change a heart, anyway. So then my time becomes better spent--not concentrating on trying to show people where I think they're wrong--but rather, concentrating on improving my love walk toward everyone.
In Blogland and beyond.
"... but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." 2 Corinthians 10:12
"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you..." 1 Thessalonians 4:11