Friday, August 15, 2008

Rejoicing in following the statues of God... Theory 1

BibleGateway.com - Passage Lookup: Psalm 119:14

Derin asks:
Does it mean I love money too much or not love God's statutes enough? Or both?

I'm still mulling this one over, but here are some thoughts.

I think it goes deeper than what I love and how, or immediate vs. spiritual.

Money is food, shelter, water, the best health care, good education, more money (it's easy to make money if you've got money), etc.

These are, of course, things for which I tell myself that I rely on God. But ...

In reality, though, I don't think any of that is the issue.

I had a bit of an epiphany when reading Mere Christianity last night (yep, still working on it). I have much in common with Lucifer. Primarily in the form of Pride. A big pile of money is MY thing that I can use to fix MY problems. And YOUR problems, and my family's, and my church's, and little childrens' in Brazil.

It's like when, in the (fictional) Book of Nod, God sent an angel to Cane (the angel Urial, if memory serves), to presented to him the chances for redemption. Again and again it was offered, again and again Cane said something to the effect of "No, by My Own power shall I overcome your judegements." Each time the curse upon him grew worse, until in the end he was unrecognizable, twisted, and evil.

So: There's Lucifer, Cane, and Joe. Excepting that I recognize this pride and make effort to humble myself before God and men. But somewhere deep down ...






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.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Rejoicing in following the statues of God...

BibleGateway.com - Passage Lookup: Psalm 119:14

14 I rejoice in following your statutes
as one rejoices in great riches.

Wow. When I think of how I would rejoice in great riches, I'm not sure that I come anywhere close to measuring up to this. I'll be challenged by this one for a while.

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