Between Two Tines
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
I wonder how many times the reference to Charles Dickens’ novel, Tale of Two Cities is made? I have seen it quite often lately.
Indeed, I know of no one who doesn’t have down moments. I try to carry at least a bit of sunshine in my pocket—something to be happy about or to smile about.
I came across some statements on a placard the other day. My initial response was to agree with them because I’m an agreeable person. One thing I’ve developed is a ‘truth detector’. This detector takes a statement or idea and says on the surface this may be true, but let’s dig deeper.
The statements are:
It isn’t my job to fix others. On the surface this is true. I do not have a psychiatrist’s degree. As my Grandma used to say, I’m just an old lady trying to get along. So, that doesn’t mean I have to unfix people either. As a Christian, I’m here to point people to the one who can heal them.
It’s okay if others get angry. I’m not sure why it wouldn’t be okay if others or even if I get angry. Somethings should make us angry, but how do we handle that anger? That’s the key. Injustice for example should make us angry, but what do we do with that anger?
It’s okay to say no. There have been times when I should have said no and I learned that we all have limits. No one can do it all, there is no such thing as a superman or superwoman. As one friend I have says, we aren’t supposed to do God’s job.
It’s not my job to take responsibility for others. In an article I wrote years ago titled “Busyness” I made this exact point. The only Bible reading and study some (Christians) do is Sunday morning. Parents bring me their children to teach them Bible lessons. Instead of it being the icing on the cake of what they learn at home, it is the sum total of their child’s learning.
It is my job to make me happy. This is a yes/no thing. My happiness should not depend on someone else. If I’m constantly unhappy because other people aren’t stepping to do what I think they should be doing (for me) I’m going to be unhappy a lot. On the other hand, it isn’t the goal of my life to be happy.
Nobody has to agree with me/I do have a right to my own opinion and feelings. This should be an obvious statement. It goes along with the first amendment, freedom of speech. I do wish people would learn to put their thoughts and opinion into better words but…
I am enough. I suppose there are various meanings to that phrase. I find myself often trying to be ‘more’. I’m often trying to be better than I was yesterday, or better than I am and I fall short every time. Because when all is said and done it is the blood of Jesus that saves this sinner and makes me enough.
2 Timothy 2:
3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.
6 The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.
7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.
8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:
9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.
10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. 14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.