So you can come along

A girl with stories

Golden Ruling It February 2, 2013

Filed under: Grad School,His truth — Amanda Lynn @ 2:05 pm

The dishes made loud clattering sounds as they hit the floor of the restaurant.

Heads turned to see what the source of the noise was.

Next to my family’s table, the young waitress knelt to sweep up the class and I could see that she was fighting tears.

An older waitress with a kind face came around the corner and knelt to help her, “Sweetie, it’s fine. No harm done.”

Then, the second waitress spoke to the onlookers, “She’s in training….”. There were lots of sympathetic nods and people went back to eating.

It was understood that there is an amount of grace extended to someone who is learning.

 

************************************************

 

At one point or another, we’re all like that waitress.

We start fresh at something with good intentions, hoping to succeed, believing that we can do it…

until we mess up.

Then our responses might range from hiding and trying to forget that the mistake happened to looking for anything/anyone else to blame.

For me, those reponses come from deep fears and false beliefs. I seem to think that to be successful or help others  that I can’t mess up.

But I’m coming to learn that the opposite is true: to be successful and help others I will have to mess up.

 

*************************************************

 

This week, I’ve started to head deep into my internship at a safe house for sex trafficking survivors, I’ve started classes and my work at the ER is expected a few extra hours for training.

I’ve forgotten things at my house, in my car, turned in the wrong document and unintentionally missed a Skype date with a sweet friend. Saying that I feel like I’m in over my head is an understatment.

And it took coffee with a sweet friend yesterday morning for the Lord to show me that I haven’t been extending the same grace to myself that I would readily extend to others. If I were loving my neighbor as myself then I would be short-tempered with them when they mess up. I would refuse to acknowledge their emotions. I would neglect patience when they are learning something new. Basically, I would be a total meany and not display the love of Christ at all.

Why?

Why can’t I use a reverse golden rule toward myself? Love they self as they neighbor.

I think it’s because of fear. A fear that if I give myself too much slack then I’m not being the “good girl” that I should be.

Or that if I allow myself the space to fail that I’ll let people down and I won’t get asked to help anymore.

(Don’t worry, all of this sounds just as irrational to me as it probably does to you.)

That’s why I need to be reminded that I’m not in charge of defining what is “success” and  “failure”.

I need to be reminded that my over-active conscious and the Holy Spirit are two very different guides.

My conscious is a built-in biological function. It’s a socially adaptive part of my pre-frontal cortex that keeps me from being socially deviant. That’s not at all a bad thing. It’s when my conscious tells me to live under the law, feel guilt rather than conviction, experience fear of punishment, be overly cautious, try to live up to standards beyond what God requires…that’s when it becomes a bad thing.

What I can do is to bring my flesh into accordance with the Spirit {Romans 8!}.

In those moments when my flesh is telling me that I am not under the same grace as others are, I have to take that those thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ {2 Cor 10:5}. When my thoughts about myself do not line up with what scripture says, then I know I’m acting and thinking in the flesh and not in the Spirit.

Over time it will become clearer and clearer that what I am feeling is not the Truth. Regardless of how I feel about me, Truth abides. I can ask myself, “What is the action God wants me to take based on the truth, regardless of how I feel right now?” As we make decisions based on what’s true we can retrain our conscience so that it becomes more and more attuned to the Spirit

The great news is that when I ask the Lord to reveal the areas of sin in my life, He is faithful to do that and more. He forgives and extends grace on my behalf…even when I am not at all gracious. He knows exactly what it feels like to be human. I forget that about Him so often. How incredible that God experienced 100% humanity just like me! So, if He says to love my neighbor as myself, that means, in the power of his Holy Spirit, I get to start treating myself the way I treat others.

 

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,

and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father,

full of grace and truth.

:: 1 John 1:14 ::
 

 
And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
 
For the law was given through Moses;
 
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
 
:: John 1:15-17  ::

 
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