The Fish Bowl

I am in a transition season; my life has taken a completely different direction than planned. I have made some changes that many have questioned especially me! God had opened a door and I jumped and did not think about it until I was a month or so in. I have come to learn though that God uses change to change me, and it’s all for my good and His Glory!

But when we make choices or changes and people don’t understand our reasoning behind them, it feels as if we are being judged. Some of this is due to our own insecurities and sometimes it is because others just don’t understand our actions. Whether we like it or not, people watch our life. And if you proclaim to be a Christ Follower, it seems as if you are in a fish bowl. I only speak of this because I am guilty of watching the fish. This is why I’m sharing my heart.

You see, there is nothing special about me actually if you were to come live with me for a week, (not an invite) you would quickly become aware that I am not perfect. I don’t claim to be. You may look at my social media and think, “She has it all together.” Or you may know me and look at it and say, “What a fraud!” I post scripture almost every day. I do it because one, it puts me in the Word and two, it reminds me to speak life into others. Is it a bonus that you may read it and be blessed… yes!  But this is no indication that I have it all together.

I am a beautiful mix of many things: an organizer who procrastinates, passionate giver or talented tantrum thrower. I get angry when I’m scared. I like to control situations. I am horribly late to everything. I talk too much and don’t listen. I am a great planner and if you need a job done in 30 mins or less, I am the person to do it. I dream big but fail miserably at following through. I read and study a lot and know lots of things about lots of stuff. Most of which are self-help or personal growth and I master none of it. But I can motivate and inspire you to do it all. And I’m sure there is some that you see or know that I just am unaware of, but God is still working on me.

I wanted to lay all of this out before you because my insecurities remind me daily that I am not good enough to share anything with you. But the fantastic truth about sharing and being real with one another is we begin to see that no one is perfect. We place people on these pedestals to be admired all the while setting them up to fall. We hold each other accountable to standards we ourselves can’t keep and fault them for it. We are appalled at the grace God bestows upon others and in the midst never seeing the grace He has given us. Beth Moore says in Jesus the One & Only, “When we judge a brother’s or sister’s sin as so much worse than our own, we are like lepers counting spots. “She has more than I do.”

We do this to our friends, our children, our spouses, our parents, pastors and leaders; and when they do fall we quickly throw everything good about them out because of their one mistake.

Romans 3:9-20 In, The Message, it says,

So where does that put us? Do we Jews get a better break than the others? Not really. Basically, all of us, whether insiders or outsiders, start out in identical conditions, which is to say that we all start out as sinners. Scripture leaves no doubt about it:There’s nobody living right, not even one,

    nobody who knows the score, nobody alert for God.

They’ve all taken the wrong turn;

    they’ve all wandered down blind alleys.

No one’s living right;

    I can’t find a single one.

Their throats are gaping graves,

    their tongues slick as mudslides.

Every word they speak is tinged with poison.

    They open their mouths and pollute the air.

They race for the honor of sinner-of-the-year,

    litter the land with heartbreak and ruin,

Don’t know the first thing about living with others.

    They never give God the time of day.

This makes it clear, doesn’t it, that whatever is written in these Scriptures is not what God says about others but to us to whom these Scriptures were addressed in the first place! And it’s clear enough, isn’t it, that we’re sinners, every one of us, in the same sinking boat with everybody else? Our involvement with God’s revelation doesn’t put us right with God. What it does is force us to face our complicity in everyone else’s sin.

We all sin and we all make mistakes. God’s grace is more than enough for all.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

One day I was driving home and someone I loved had made a choice I didn’t agree with. I was praying and in a moment, I became so angry over the situation. I cried out, “that’s it I’m done, I completely wash my hands of this person.” In a gentle whisper, I heard, “what if I would have washed my hands of you?” My sin, their sin, your sin is no different. God was saying, “Look I died for all sin, not just the ones we think are bad.”

He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world. 1 John 2:2 (NLT)

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,

1 Peter 3:18 (ESV)

I don’t like looking at my flaws; it is much easier to be distracted by someone else’s. I am parenting two teenage girls, most days seem unsuccessful. But we have this conversation often because my girls struggle with what others think of them. The reality is those other girls are too worried about themselves to think about anyone else. It is so prideful to think that someone else is sitting around all day just thinking about you…and silly!  We as adults do this as well. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but no one is thinking about you, at least not how you think they are thinking about you. Not saying, no one never thinks about you, but let’s be honest, I can’t think about how your hair looks because I’m too worried about if mine is ok?

I struggle with comparisons and it’s true there are times I think I am the only one not getting it. It is extremely difficult when our flaws or hurtful words are spoken against us.

It is hard when we are hurt, or judged, or ridiculed and those insecurities or feelings of inadequacies creep in. I want to prove I’m right or I am not what this person said about me. We cannot change someone’s opinion of us and we can’t undo words spoken about us. But we can live in our identity in Christ! I can proudly stand and say, “No, I am not who I once was, I am new in Christ and changing moment by moment.”

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

I write about my life because I want you to know the power of living in Christ. And it helps to know you are not alone. It’s not because I am good nor have the magic formula. It’s because I need Jesus desperately every day.

For when I tried to keep the law (just not do it) I realized I could never earn God’s approval (or anyone else) So I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ. I myself no longer live but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:19-20 (NLT)

My prayer today comes from Praying God’s Word:

Father, I acknowledge that at times in my life I’ve fed on ashes instead of Your Word and let my deluded heart mislead me. Help me recognize when the thing I’m holding onto for security is a lie. (Isaiah 44:20)

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