Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Living in the third person?

This lady has read a particular phrase over and over again this week, “It’s not about us, it’s all about Him.” One woman completely erased her profile and left these words “It’s not about me, its all about Him." These people seem to be saying that they want to get the focus off of themselves and onto Christ more. That is truly noble. They are appreciated and respected. It is a fine phrase. One person even used the phrase to rebuke a certain blogger for making a selfish joke/remark in a comment thread. On that same blog and others like it, people are discouraged from making anonymous comments, though … hmmm … if blogging and interacting with other people is not at all about us, and it’s all about Him, why does it matter what our names are? The person who was rebuked felt rather like a scolded schoolgirl and retreated into dimness. Comments were hard to type because she was very aware of the much use of I, me, my and mine and was trying not to use those words. She didn’t even want to show her face back at that particular blog. Well, that lasted about a week… but it made me think. Am I too focused on myself? Am I full of myself? I have the answer: yes.

I don’t love God like I should. I love reading His Word and I long to understand it, but I am often distracted with egocentric thoughts. I know others are more important than myself, but I am habitually preoccupied with my own needs. When I am tired, hungry, or my feelings are hurt, the fruit of the spirit starts to shrivel like a plum into a prune. Am I unusual? Even if I am not unusual, that doesn’t make my self-centeredness any less profound. Does the world see this fatal flaw of mine?

When I was first came to know Christ as my savior, I thought that if others saw a happy, fulfilled, content person that exhibited God’s grace and peace, they would want to know Christ, too. Christ delivered me from a whole lot of sinful habits immediately upon salvation, but I remember really struggling with certain things…irritation, impatience, other bad character traits … and trying so hard to hide them from my immediate family for fear they would spoil the picture I wanted them to see … of life in Christ. It later became clear that this wasn’t right. It didn’t work to win them to Christ, and it wasn’t genuine. I believe I have learned from God’s Word that He wants us to be authentic, not hiding our character flaws and idiosyncrasies, but letting the world see as God transforms us and grows us. How can they see this work of God if we mask who we really are?

I am selfish, but I am learning more everyday how to be a servant. I am impatient, but God is working in my heart. I am wretched, but He cares for me. He is here with me, in me, and somehow, people see Him here. When He laid down His life, He did it for His friends … that includes selfish, wretched me.

But God demonstrates his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

I once heard someone say that Christ died for God. I think I know what he means. But I take great joy in this fact: Christ died for me! He took my sin upon Him, and he wants to make me like Him. Anthropocentric vs. Theopocentric soteriology… I hear these words and I think I get where the concern is. No, the world does not revolve around me or any of us! I get it. Yet here I am, trapped in this body, as this person, with this life. This is the life that I am responsible to live and this is where I experience the new life He has given me. I am not going to hide who I am or what God is doing here in a quest to be generic and impersonal … not in the blogdom and not anywhere else. I don't mean this post as a criticism of anyone else ... it is just my thoughts on how I must operate. (I look forward to doing some more noble posts that avoid all the personal pronouns that I used here!)

(My concept of how the blogdom relates to real life is a work in progress).

Thanks to all of those who are patient with me here in this strange universe of BLOG.

13 Comments:

  • I think about myself far too much. It is very easy, especially if you are a very introverted person like myself.

    God Bless

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 11/05/2005 5:34 AM  

  • ROSE~ once again, you went straight to the heart of the matter in your genuine, forthright style. I thank God that I married someone who is authentic and free to be who she is. I believe your attitude helps to create a biblical, healthy environment for our home. Our children need to know that we are learning and growing too. In the finale' of my Bible time with the boys, I reminded them of something that I have heard ever since I started "hanging around" Baptists, "God loves you just the way you are." I love that idea, with all the spots and wrinkles of sin, God loves even me! Yet, He doesn't want me to STAY "just as I am..." He loves me enough to desire growth, even transformation (i.e. becoming more and more like Him). Like I said to the boys, "God loves you just the way you are, but He loves you so much that He doesn't want you to stay that way."

    Good post! I like the way you went from third person to first person to make your point more clear and personal.

    I love you Rose!
    (Is that too personal?)

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 11/05/2005 7:47 AM  

  • Thanks for making me think about myself, Rose. And here I was trying to focus on God.

    That's a joke.

    BTW, That comment you saw was just the reason I don't like anonymous commenting. The anonymous can say anything they want without thinking about it since no one knows who they are.

    By Blogger Jeremy Weaver, at 11/05/2005 8:17 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I like what you said about the contrast. When we are genuine, people can see the ongoing work that God is doing in us. But if we fake-it-till-we-make-it, they can probably see that too.

    I guess, since, unsaved people really are preoccupied with self, they need an accurate picture of what God can do with that. And of course, part of that picture is that we are dying to ourselves to live to Him.

    When someone gets saved and they 'put on the mask', I can see where it could scare their old friends because it seems too radical for them. Omigosh! His cheese slipped off the cracker!

    Og fourse we want to be concientious to Christ and sensitive to the Spirit, but the relationship is key. He must be leading us and not we oursleves. That's the only way a true picture can be painted.

    By Blogger loren, at 11/05/2005 8:49 AM  

  • Dyspraxic, on some levels I think I relate very well to you.

    J. Wendell,
    You are so kind to me. Thank you for your encouragement.

    Jeremy,
    I understand joking! I don't understand being ignored. :~)
    Sometimes "the blog you" makes "the blog me" feel less than "validated", but I can't put my finger on the why of it. Then you surprise me by putting me on your blogroll! Puzzling. So...thanks!
    BTW, remember your rules about anonymous comments (July, maybe) and bloggers directing comments to other commenters? Good ideas, I think. I may work up my own rules for RR.

    Loren,
    I always appreciate your emphasis on the relationship. God will complete the work He has initiated here. Thanks for your understanding.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/05/2005 2:26 PM  

  • Good insight, Rose. Love of self is definitley my primary problem too! Where would we be w/o the love of God in our loves.

    I'm so thankful for the intimacy we are allowed to have with HIM (I Cor 6:17; Jn 17).

    Thanks for the "realness" you and your husband exhibit in the blogosphere--it's a much needed corrective and necessary perspective I need while operating in this realm (the blog).

    By Anonymous Bobby Grow, at 11/05/2005 5:10 PM  

  • The universe of BLOG is no more nor less stange than that other universe we're forced to live in.

    As long as the 3rd person we're living in is Jesus, we'll be OK.

    Theological note: I would refute the notion that "Christ died for God." He died because of God--it fulfilled God's will. But Christ himself made it clear he died for us.

    By Blogger Jeff H, at 11/05/2005 6:56 PM  

  • You're real! You have articulated(far better than I could by the way) the very conclusions I have arrived at over time about not putting on masks. The blogosphere needs more real people like you and your husband around. Thank you for this post!

    By Blogger bluecollar, at 11/05/2005 7:13 PM  

  • By the way, bluecollar is honored that you put bluecollar on your blogroll. Bluecollar knows that was egotistical of bluecollar to observe and comment on, but,hey bluecollar appreciates it none the less. Thank you anyway.

    Bluecollar is not good at this third person thing.

    By Blogger bluecollar, at 11/05/2005 7:22 PM  

  • Bobby,
    Thanks for reading and contributing your amen.

    Jeff,
    Third person ... Jesus ... interesting. I was thinking something different, but that is sort of a creatively spritual twist. I like it.

    Bluecollar,
    You compliment with such ababndon it is nice! You are nice. But are you aware I am not a Calvinist? You may want to re-think things...
    :~)
    BTW - you're funny!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/05/2005 9:24 PM  

  • How did you know I was Calvinist? You must have been visiting Jeremy's blog as that is the only place that I have ever revealed that.

    I don't need to rethink anything because based on what I've read on both yours and your husbands blogs I have a lot of respect for the both of you ,though I won't always agree.

    Your Calvinist Brother,
    Mark

    By Blogger bluecollar, at 11/05/2005 9:35 PM  

  • I love the phrase, "It's not about me, it's not about you, it's all about Him," but I think it has to be put in proper context.

    The pain I may suffer is mine. But when I can learn to give it to Him, I disown it and it becomes His. So it is about Him, though the pain itself affects me.

    In the end, the believer grows toward "it" being all about Him, though I don't think we ever arrive there.

    By Blogger Joe, at 11/06/2005 7:04 PM  

  • Bluecollar, not much gets by me! ;~)

    Joe,
    Your comments are always so helpful and constructive. Thank you. You are on our minds.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/06/2005 9:16 PM  

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