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    CPR2019 Reflection #17 - Sweet Relief

    March 26, 2019

    As Pastor Jude said in his blog, Darryl Dash begins this chapter looking at two lies. However, by my math, this chapter highlights many more than two supposed lies.

     He begins with his clearly stated lies:

    1. Nobody’s watching.

    2. Our lives are too ordinary to make a difference.

    Agreed. Those are lies that I definitely believe. But he goes on to ask questions that also sound like lies in disguise.

    3. Who am I?

    4. How can I help (others) when I struggle so much myself?

    5. Who would want to be discipled by me when it’s obvious that I have so much to learn?

    Maybe I’m nitpicking. Maybe those are subcategories of his two primary lies. Regardless, I think it is helpful to look at them as individual statements and consider the truth that set us free from each of them.

    Because here’s the truth: Those might not actually be the lies that hang some of us up. Those might actually just be big, fat, ugly, truths.

    Some of us are hearing the world’s point of view that we are really pretty awesome, actually, and that we are almost always right, and that the world would be a better place if more people were like us.

    That’s a gong show.

    Because people *are* watching, but they might not really be as interested in you as you would hope they might be.

    And your life *is* ordinary. Even if you are the Grand Poobah of the most hoity-toity shindig this side of awesome, you are still just one person who is going to some day die and eventually be forgotten.

    Who are you? Just a created being. One out of 7.7 billion people. Not unique. Not the best. Not immortal. Not really all that special.

    And really, if you are struggling in sin or the disciplines, *do* you actually have what it takes to help others? What about the log/speck dilemma? Don’t I have to clean out my own eye before I help someone clean out theirs?

    And aren’t I being a hypocrite if I try to lead someone where I haven’t yet been or encourage them to believe something I’ve not yet grasped or applied?

    The truth is, I, Barbara Postma, in my own ability and strength, am not equipped or fit to have any one following after me and my example.

    That’s the truth.

    And it sounds horrible, doesn’t it? Is this the most discouraging blog post you’ve ever read? I feel discouraged writing it! It is posts like this that make the world and a bunch of self-help motivational gurus shout, “No! Don’t listen to that Debbie Downer. YOU ARE TOTALLY WORTH IT!”

    But here is the ultimate truth that frees us from ALL of the lies and also from the SAD truths that cripple us.

    GOD is able. GOD is worthy. God does what he will do and uses who he will use and does it all for HIS glory.

    I can think of several passages to quote here to free us, but this one is at top of mind as the most helpful truth for this chapter on discipling others and encouraging others to follow us as we follow Christ.

    From 1 Corinthians 1:26-31:

    For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

    I can think of no more freeing truth than this. You know how I feel like I’m not enough? Guess what? I’m really not! And guess what? THAT IS THE POINT! I’m not but HE IS! OH! Sweet relief! He knows I’m weak and foolish and low and despicable and nothing and he doesn’t expect me to be otherwise on my own. He is all and in all and he will do in me what he needs to do. He knows that I am in Jesus Christ. He knows that my wisdom, righteousness, sanctification all come from Christ’s perfect life and finished work on the cross on my behalf and so in light of THAT truth I can be free to say, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” Because I know what I really mean is “Follow me as God graciously moves my feet for me so that I too can follow along behind Christ.”

    Discipleship in that frame of mind feels like a great gift rather than a millstone around my neck. I have no problem pointing people to the disaster that I was and to the work in progress that I am now, all by the grace of God. It is HIS glory, not mine. It is HIS work, not mine. And so, as Darryl Dash indicates, the best examples to follow are the ones who think they are pretty perfect, but rather those who continually, happily, humbly point you to the One who is.

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