Verbose posts, as I was processing and not filtering much. Sorry!
True Confessions. . .
Don’t you just love it when God has you share something or prepare to teach something, and then shows you that you have more work in that same area, too? It happens to me regularly, especially if I am to teach on the subject.
I have learned the lesson myself, then pass a series of “tests”, or as happens sometimes…fail, fail, get better but not quite good, then pass! Then take another one! Learn to see that it is the same lesson, but not in the same way or area of life as these levels of learning are carried along in my life. Finally passing again in different ways of it being presented, and hopefully doing better as I go along. Then I get ready to teach it or share on it and whamo! More tests!
Its like earning grades in a way. You can pass with a D, but what have you learned? I prefer to pass with an A. Its a thing in my life. If I don’t have an A, I realize I just don’t know the subject like I should. So I certainly can’t apply what I’ve learned well. And when God is teacher, I want to know, understand and live out whatever the subject is.
I find that even after sharing/teaching, I go through more tests. Teachers are more accountable for what is taught and God wants us to know what’s right and live it out.
Problem is… … … Me! My self gets in the way all too often. Even when I see it fairly clearly, recognize it, or wonder if that is something God is bringing to my attention for me (usually is) my first response can sometimes be … … … avoidance at all costs! And yes, it costs. Precious time, freedom, peace, relationship-health, etc. High cost.
But what do I do when I don’t want to face it up square in the eye, like I usually do? Stall! Avoid. Duck. Procrastinate. Head another way. Anything but what I should be doing, which is face it head on and deal brutally with whatever it is I need to face. bleh!
I knew the other day when I posted my last post I was in trouble. (laughing wholeheartedly now)
I know full well one of the most important things God wants of us, each one of us without exception, is for us to meet together for hearing His word and worshiping Him together. Now, I know that structured church isn’t the only way to do this, and I have a lot of “communing” with other believers. But a serious issue in my life that has shown up at various times in my life is church attendance.
Hence Conviction. Ewwww!
I go very faithfully, and for long periods of time, usually at least 8 years or more without a problem. But, when I get disconnected from a specific group for any reason, the commute, God releasing me, or whatever the reason is, I unplug. It is like I have no physical place. I always stay with a place/group until I feel released by God. I have even refused good opportunities that would come with a move if I don’t feel the clearance by God from my place of worship.
However, as noble as that sounds, once I am displaced from my routine place and people, it is like I am just sort of drifting. I visit other churches, and give each one at least 3 months if it is at all in line with my faith and how to treat others. But, if it doesn’t connect to my “center” where I know it is my place, then after 3-9 months I move on to another place.
Now, if you are asking why I don’t just ask God where to go, I do! I tend to have to learn or know by the process. I don’t know why, but that is how it is. Even if I walk into a place that seems foreign to me, and I don’t “naturally” want to be there, God will let me know I am home. Stay, Shelley! Stay! Good daughter. (smiling)
Interestingly enough, I had the thought before leaving my last place of worship (long ago) that I would check out the church I am with currently. It was my first choice.
But, the problem was that certain people were already faithful there, and others tend to not know me as other than “so-and-so’s friend/sister/whatever”. I have had this issue in many ways at various times, and it tends to remove my personhood, my own individuality. Like I can’t just be Shelley or ShelleyJo as I really am, but can only be so-and-so’s whatever-relationship-it-is, and I must be however I have been represented there. Even worse is that they respond toward me based on how the others are thought of.
Also, I’d had some repeated wounding there, but felt like the “going to the same church as them” was the problem, as I’d forgiven offenses long before I’d left there.
I tend to be someone people talk about. I must be interesting, I guess. I can’t figure it out, but it has really impeded my ability to be all I can be in school, church, work, groups and even family situations. It shouldn’t, and I have a feeling that I am going to learn how to not let it…or some such thing.
When “information” goes ahead of you, it can really obscure who you are, the truth, your growth, capabilities, etc. I have a precious friend who has been nearly destroyed in her life because of chat going ahead of her in work and ministry situations.
And when people talk of you, or you talk of them, it is never 100% accurate, even when they love you and want to speak kindly of you (or you of them). This is why I am a real stickler now on gossip, even if it seems harmless enough. (I confess that I have been very guilty of the gossip sin, so don’t feel I’m preaching. I have been guilty of other sins of the tongue, too so I am very aware of the damage words can bring.)
Talking about people when they are not there takes away their right to proper representation and takes away their voice. Unless you are promoting someone and they want to be promoted, don’t talk about them without their knowledge. I have even told friends what I’ve said about them with others in case something else gets back to them other than what I’ve honestly said, or its quoted out of context. There’s a feeling you get with some conversations and you wonder where it will go.
Have you ever been having an innocent conversation with someone, and suddenly had a feeling it may go somewhere else and not be represented correctly? Happens all the time!