Friday, August 15, 2008

Rejoicing in following the statues of God... Theory 2

One of the most bitter points of my Naz upbringing was the way in which we were taught to hate ourselves for really very normal, harmless, and indeed necessary things.

One of the ways in which this devilry was insinuated upon an eager young man with a tragically dysfunctional under developed bullshit detector was in the form of the doctrine of holiness, as presented.

I say "as presented". This is important. I don't know what the official doctrine states, just how it was presented to me.

Holiness in Word, Thought, and Deed. It's not enough that you don't sin, you really shouldn't even want to. If you FEEL this, you're sinful. If you THINK that, you're sinful. Come to the alter and let's pray about it. I hate to admit how weak-minded I am, but, oh-boy, did I swallow the hook on that stuff.

So, where's the connection between this and my not living up to
14 I rejoice in following your statutes
as one rejoices in great riches.
Well, as much as I'd like to think I've undone my childhood and adolescent religious perspectives, I must admit that even when I succeed in "following [God's] statues", I'm still kicking myself. Maybe because I didn't do it with a joyous enough heart, or didn't do it soon enough, or didn't do it every time forever, or maybe I just really would have liked, deep down, to have behaved differently.

We need to stop kicking ourselves for wanting to do what every other person on the planet would want to do, and start patting ourselves on the back for doing the right thing, despite the fact that 9 out of 10 people we know would not have done so.

My internal bar is set too high, and it often robs me of the joy that I should be experiencing from following God's statutes. Still working on it, I'll get there God willing...

I've never won this argument with the folks at my church, and as it turns out I haven't truly won it with myself. My position is that I'm responsible for my ACTIONS, not my FEELINGS.

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