Saturday, September 6, 2014

first friday finds :: september

So it's First Friday Finds time...only it's not.
I mean...it was, but I missed it.  Today is Saturday and it's not called 'First Saturday Finds'.
My own blog series...totally missed it.

I could try to sneak this in on you and adjust the date/time label so that it would look like I actually wrote it yesterday, but...well...that might be dishonest.  And I want to be honest and say...
I forgot.
I was busy.
And I probably wouldn't have done it at all were it not for a friend's reminder.
So, here goes...

I dug something up in my quiet time yesterday that I wanted to share.  It's not going to run long but I hope it runs deep...I know it did for me.

Want to know if something you are doing {or thinking about doing} is right or wrong?  Check this out.


Or put another way...


Paul wrote that to the Roman church two thousand years ago but I needed to hear it today.


When it comes to making wise choices, the main players in the conversation are two people - you and God.  What is best for you, may not be what is best for your friend or your spouse or that woman who seems to have it all together or the one who seems to be falling apart.

Comparison is a trap in so many ways but this weekend I was reminded that not only do we compare our performance to the performance of others but we also compare our choices to the choices of others.  It goes something like this...

Seems like all the 'good' families I know are homeschooling...maybe I should do that.
Seems like most of my friends who are 'successful' have found a way to balance a career and family...guess I should work on that.
Seems like a lot of 'church people' are adopting kids...we probably need to find a way to do that too.
Seems like all my 'religious friends' stopped drinking that or eating this...I should probably start being a lot more restrictive with such things.
Seems like...you fill in the blank...

The problem with that line of thinking is that the scriptures don't say -
if you do anything that your best friend isn't doing,  you are sinning.
They don't say -
whatever does not proceed from the general consensus of your posse at the neighborhood pool is sin.
They don't say -
take a poll of what the majority of the people at your church do and then...do that.

Your decisions...what is best for you...is unique to you.
Yes...there are some general parameters within which all followers of Jesus operate.  They mostly have to do with loving God and loving others.  But outside of that there are many gray areas of life and what this passage of scripture reminds me of is that by faith I can trust that the Spirit of God living in me will nudge me and guide me and direct me in the path that is for me {and not necessarily anyone else}.  The God who created me, who knows my strengths and weaknesses, will determine the steps I need to take to move closer to him and to the life that he has called me to...and that will likely look different than the steps of those around me.

So...for me that means I can
stop waiting to see what everyone else chooses before I make my own choices
stop measuring my decisions against the decisions of others
stop feeling inadequate according to someone else's standards
stop depending on the blueprint of someone else's life to determine how to build my own...

...because what God is building with my life {and your life} will be a completely unique design than anything he is doing anywhere else.

And one last thing...if I could just leave you with a few more of Paul's wise words in that very same letter to the Romans...

Blessed are those who don't feel guilty for something they have decided is right.

If this is all striking a chord with you go back and read the rest of this particular section of Paul's letter...it's good stuff...and more than my 15 minutes will allow.

Thanks for your grace, friends.