Friday, February 20, 2015

Right Back at Ya!

Have you ever heard that the things which bother you in someone else are just a mirror reflecting those things in your own life?  Proverbs 27:19 says it best, "As in water face answers to and reflects face, so the heart of man to man."  I've found that to be true in my own life.

Recently, I was thinking on something that bothered me in someone else.  And because I've seen this principle played out in my life so many times before, I went to God with what was bothering me:  PERFECTIONISM.  Now I knew that God & I both knew I was not a perfectionist!  I'm no slob, but I certainly don't demand straight and tidy rows...of well...anything in my life.  So I asked Him, "If this principle is true (and i know it is), how is perfectionism manifested in my life?"  And He was quick to answer!  (Don't you just hate when that happens??)  "Becky, you are a spiritual perfectionist.  And not only is it displayed in your life, you have imposed it on others."  OUCH!!!

I had to sit and think on that a bit.  What is a spiritual perfectionist?  I carried this around in my heart and mind for a bit and mulled on it.  And the conclusion God brought me to was this:  It's a Pharisee.  Double OUCH!!  A Pharisee is someone who lived by the letter of the law.  They tried to find their acceptance in God by obeying everything God told them to do (think Old Testament laws).  The Pharisees also killed Jesus.  Man!  This revelation was getting worse by the minute!!

What's a girl to do when God uncovers and reveals something so devastating?!  Repent.  Not only did I confess it as sin, but I asked God to transform me by renewing my mind.  And then I did...nothing.  I didn't realize what was taking place in my life at the time, but I began to rest from all that work I was doing.  I began to receive His grace.  I had been trying to find my acceptance in God by being perfect.  And I wanted those closest to me to reach that same perfect goal.  I was imposing it on them.

I'd never understood Hebrews 4:11 until then, "Let us therefore be zealous and exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter the rest of God, to know and experience it for ourselves."  Strive to enter rest?  That sounds like an oxymoron.  Yes!  Work at resting!  I am completely and forever fully accepted in Christ. I can do nothing to add to that!  Of course, my faith will be displayed by good works, but my works don't make God love me more.  Will I become more mature?  Yes. I'm commanded to grow in Christ.    But His acceptance is a finished work.  He loves me just like I am and I can add nothing to that.  I can rest in Him.  I can just receive His grace.  Now that's perfect.

The next time you're quick to criticize someone careful.  God may just hold up a mirror for you to see yourself.

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