Monday, February 20, 2012

Truth or Fact??

I have been thinking about the difference between facts and the truth lately. This all started last Sunday during our pastor's sermon. You remember the story of the woman caught in adultery? It is found in John 8. The fact of the story is - she was indeed caught. It is also a fact that her accusers were hypocrites. But the underlying truth is that Jesus loved her – and He loved them.

Truth can be defined as the actual state of a matter. A fact is something known to exist by actual experience or observation.

And there is the rub. You see – we define the “facts” by our experience – our perspective. And while that fact may be true – we are not omniscient (all-knowing) beings. We don't know the actual state of things.

I have been working on writing skills with one of my children. It occurred to me that it is much like the difference in writing between the 1st person and the 3rd person. When we teach children writing, we may give them the assignment to write in the 1st person. They can only write the story from one person's perspective. The story can not delve into the thoughts and feelings of another character. On the other hand, when we ask them to write in the 3rd person – well then, they can write from an omniscient standpoint. They can write about each character, their thoughts & their feelings.

And this is where the challenge comes in real life. To have the mind of Christ. Not my mind, not my perspective, but Christ's eternal perspective. To view my current situation in the 3rd person.

Do I do this? Not hardly. I am the first person to beat myself up when I make a mess. And I am the first person to get mad when someone else makes a mess for me or injures me in someway.  Oh for the mind of Christ - 

                          remember - Jesus Loves Me

                          remember  - Jesus loves that other person too
                           remember - to give grace

                           remember -  the graces given to me

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Momma's Got a New Outfit!!

Proverbs 31:25

Last fall, one of the blogs I follow gave a link to the pretty print of Proverbs 31:25:

 Strength and dignity are her clothing
 and she laughs at the time to come.

I put it on my bathroom wall, so that I could see it as I was getting ready in the morning. I have been pondering it ever since.

That last part intrigued me. I wasn't sure that I would ever 'laugh' at the future, but I at least wanted to anticipate the future with out anxiety or fear. It occurred to me that to laugh at the future, I must be clothed in strength and dignity according to this scripture. 

         Where do I get there garments and how do I put them on?

Like any good bible scholar, I looked at what I thought were the three critical works -

clothing,     strength,     and    dignity.

I was sorely disappointed.   In the original Hebrew, those words meant exactly what you would think they meant – no earth shattering revelations at all. Then my eye caught something. Dignity was the masculine form of the word in the original Hebrew. And so was strength – and clothing. Huh? This is the portion of scripture about the virtuous woman – not about a man.

Intrigued, I looked at Proverbs 31:17:

She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.

That word dresses can also be translated girds – as in girding armor. And "strength" is that same masculine form.

All of the sudden, it occurred to me – the virtuous woman is not clothed in her strength and dignity – but HIS!!

She can laugh at the future because she is HIS, and HE is her strength and dignity.

So, now I am back to how I get these awesome clothes...

Maybe this is simplistic, but I realized that before I put on a new outfit, I have to take off the old. And more importantly – after I take off the old clothes, and put on the new, I must make sure not to put those old dirty rags over my pretty new clothes.  You know the ones -

                                  worry, what-if's, insecurity, doubt,  selfishness

Oh, how many times have I done that??

But, I don't just want to know that I have these clothes on - I want to feel them! Don't you just love the feel of certain fabrics? Some make me feel cozy, other feminine. I feel very confident in some outfits – and uncomfortable in others.

Just maybe – accepting Christ's love for me – that simple truth -  is what will give me the confidence to walk in strength and dignity

– and maybe even laugh at the future!!