Friday, September 14, 2012

No More Answers

A few of us have started reading through scripture together. We are trying to do it in new fresh ways. Attempting to explore the text and notice things we haven't noticed before. We are asking questions of it that we may have been afraid to ask before. After growing up in a Christian home, having read the Bible for as long as I've been able to read, it's easy to think I know what each passage is saying.

Ok, so we've only been doing this a week, but already it's blowing us away :-)

We are taking one chapter each day to dwell on. We read it first in the message version....then often times we will read it throughout the day in other versions or search different commentaries or sermons on that scripture.

As we are working our way through John, I am noticing a theme in what sticks out to me. Boundaries.

Jesus had some impeccable boundaries!!! In John 7, his brothers try to get him to go into town for the festival. They even reason with him that if he wants to be a big deal, he should get a move on and perform publicly. Jesus, however, stayed back and did it his way. He was not peer pressured, even by those who had the best ministry tactic.

As I read through the stories of His life and interactions with people, I am constantly drawn towards Jesus' "sense of self". I know that might sound silly. I mean, He IS the God of the Universe....why wouldn't He be pretty self confident? :) It's a quiet strength. He knows who He is. He is humble and doesn't feel the need to beat people over the head with it. He never smacks someone and says "don't you know you're talking to your creator, son?!" He quietly goes about his business, knowing his place, knowing his calling.

In fact, it is that quiet confidence that allows him to NOT answer every single person's questions. People misunderstand him and it seems to roll off his back.

This quiet confidence amazes me. 

In the past 3 days, I've read John 7-10....people question him, disbelieve him, accuse him of horrible things.....half the time he doesn't even RESPOND!

I'm pretty sure somewhere along the way, I read this verse:
1 Peter 3:15 "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,"

and somehow thought that it said:

"Brandi - whenever anyone questions you, you better have an answer for anything you do, say, think or feel. If not, you should listen to them. They very well could be right.Allow anyone to say anything and respond every single time." least that's somehow what I ended up believing.

I think I was so far on to one side of a seemingly good pendulum that it became a horrible bondage in my life.

Is knowing that my own heart is sinful and deceitful a good things?  yep.
Is having people speak into my life a good thing? yep
Is being able to explain my heart or actions to someone good? probably

But none of those things gave me the quiet confidence that I see in Jesus and all of them left me in bondage to others' swinging opinions. Some people thought I was awesome....some that I was too much or should find balance in this area or that.

I was left straining to be myself while feeling frustrated because others didn't understand me and thought I should be something else. Neither option left me with quiet confidence. If I was who "they" wanted me to be, I wasn't me and I knew it. If I was fully me, I felt judged and sinful or rebellious for not conforming.

I want to be like Jesus.

I want to live in quiet confidence of who I am and what I am called to.

I want to do this with others speaking truth and life into me (so thankful that I have more than a handful of people who not only speak truth, but recognize and affirm the Spirit of God within me!)

I want to continually be presenting my heart to JESUS for examination....not to others.

Being accepted and understood isn't exactly a Biblical concept! So why was I pursuing it?

Did I think that Abraham's friends would have understood if he told them "so, hey....God told me to go sacrifice Isaac"  ummmmm no.

Do I think all of Noah's community thought that a flood was coming and building an ark was pure brilliance?  nope.

Did the religious leaders approve of Jesus' actions? Miracles even? Nope. Nope. Nope.

So I think I'll settle for being misunderstood.  Let's be honest....I'm often misunderstood anyways, might as well settle into it :) Might as well continually go to Jesus for my worth and my assignments in life and live that out with quiet confidence. No need to explain or beg people to understand. Just live, love, give and be who He wants me to be.

Wanna know what question He always DID have an answer for? "what must I do to be saved?" and "will you heal me?"

And the question I will be ready to have an answer for....will be about the HOPE that He has brought to me. Beauty. Hope. Life. Freedom. Let's talk about those things with gentleness and respect like 1 Peter actually says instead of quizzing each other and then living for approval and understanding :)

1 comment:

  1. Im going to think on this. Good words, Brandi. I always appreciate your sharing!