Not a George Michael song. Pondering Galatians 6:7-10 – still. Asking:
At what point does the concept of “liberty” or freedom in the life of the Christ-follower merely become a license for compromise and sin? How close to the edge can I stand, still believing that somehow, someway, I’m “strong enough” to not be adversely affected by the behaviors, thought patterns, & entertainment choices I indulge in?
Is it possible that the longer I stand close to the edge, the less likely I am to be able to really tell if I’m in a spot of danger? I think this may be the case, as desensitization often results from repeated exposures (frog in the kettle, foot in the ice-bucket…)
maybe this is where the being open to another person’s insight into my life would be helpful, as what has become normal for me might be truly seen as a destructive & deadly habit, pattern, practice by someone who is not as “used to” death-(sin) defying behaviors.
How can I nurture an attitude that is open to input from others & doesn’t respond in a ‘counter-attack’ of self-justification when somebody points out my pet behavior/indulgence?
Good thought provokers. Just thinking “out loud” here, not trying to answer the questions . . .
Considering versus 7-10 it seems to me they imply that we are set free to serve or do good deeds. Therefore, it makes sense that when we use our freedom to serve ourselves we are on shakey ground, or at least have to be aware of how far to take our freedom. When we use our freedom to serve others we are on safe ground and those concerns become a moot point. I constantly have to remind myself that my freedom/gifts/whatever are not for me but for others.
I don’t want to over-comment on your blog so I’ll skip to your last point. Maybe it’s not so much nurturing an attitude as it is nurturing a relationship to allow trust to grow.
“ya gotta have faith, faith, faith…. baby…..” sorry, couldn’t resist.
re: letting people provide insight, input, correction, direction, etc.. into our lives is harder than just saying we want it. i’m finding some “lip service” in some that ask for accountability, but come the time to receive it, put out the old straight arm. what i’m getting at is this: it’s awesome to have friends that speak into our lives & warn us on things, but it takes real tenacity for truth, on the part of the one being corrected, to receive that input & take a real look @ it, in order to make a change. change doesn’t happen over night just because somebody allows someone else to point something out, the real test comes when we know what we’ve heard is right, then being obedient on it.
overall: as a guide-line the people that we take correction from need to have our trust & that’s mostly made possible by relationship. i’ve been corrected by someone that doesn’t even know me- feels more like condemnation than anything else.
I like the take that we’re set free to be able to serve, not live for self. That’s a huge differentiation, as the motivation for self-righteous, counter-attacking response is me & making me look/feel better about what I’m doing.
I can remember punching my brother in the head because he was reaching into the running garbage disposal to retrieve a fork… he didn’t appreciate it & came up swinging – but I saw him heading for danger, a situation that would have mangled him pretty good… in hindsight, I wish I would have simply been able to communicate: “Hey. You are reaching into a running garbage disposal. If you’re not really careful, you can have your fingers & hand disposed of as well. Its dangerous what you’re doing; perhaps you should reconsider your actions.” But, I didn’t. I just whacked him.
i see your point. what does “whacking” a fellow Christ-follower look like? i have my ideas from experience, but maybe there’s something i’ve missed.
comment moderation? you and douglas adams . . .
i’m glad others posted first because their comments are actually good and i can just point out that i agree. the freedom we have is not to do whatever we want (e.g. burn our leather jacket from the “faith” video just because we can), but to serve others. that is a pretty big distinction. second, i agree that we often justify punching our brothers in the head instead of simply turning off the switch, or verbally warning them. there is a time for the punch, but it is a last resort when all else fails.
hope this is good enough to make the cut :)
Attitudes that are open to correction and keep one from license?
* Desiring to grow in Christian maturity–not being content with minimal commitment to Christ
* Recognizing that the Bible doesn’t caution about certain practices without good reason
* Awareness that cause and effect may not always be obvious, i.e., hitting my thumb with a hammer instantly hurts. But the “death” that I let into my life/family from certain activities may not be so apparent
* Willingness to forego pursuits that may be fun or fulfilling but not in my ultimate best interests
* Don’t base my opinion of what is “okay” on what I want to be “okay” because I like to do it
in order to have an attitude to receive any correction or input i must completely trust the person who is doing the correcting. i must know without doubt that this person is speaking to me with love & concern & being led by the holy spirit. i must then go to jesus for his insight or comfirmation. hopefully then i will not respond defensively. but even then it is still a very hard process to go through.