Wednesday, February 08, 2006

How Far You've Come

Did you see the commercial during the Super Bowl broadcast where there are two doctors standing at the side of a patients bed? A fly is buzzing around them and one Dr. picks up the shock paddles and zaps the fly. The fly falls onto the chest of the sleeping patient. As the Dr. leans over the man’s chest to look at the fly the wife and daughter enter the room to hear the Dr. (still holding the paddles) say, “Well, that killed him.” It’s commercial greatness!! But the perception of the wife and daughter was not reality.

The phrase “perception is reality” has popped up on more than one occasion in the last week. I think this idea is a truck load of rotten squid. Perception is perception. While we can perceive a thing accurately, our perception is just that. Perception means, to see (or understand) a thing from a certain point of view. We all see the world from our own perspective. But our point of view should not be held as "reality" simply because we see it that way. More to the point, we should not look at others and decide that, from our perception, they are lacking in some way.

When we look at another person on the journey toward Christ likeness, it is not our perception that matters. The scripture says, “Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” (Romans 14:4) Our responsibility is not to evaluate, but to encourage, to support; to bear the weakness that may be present. No, of course we should hold those close to us accountable for their actions provided the relationship permits that.

If we are being developed by the continuing work of the Holy Spirit in our lives then we must accept that same process in the lives of others. We are yielded and responsive on different levels in regard to this. Some of us are hard headed and some are hard hearted. Some are open and teachable and some are broken and pliable. Paul wrote, “…he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6) Just a few verses later he reinforced this idea saying, “…for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (2:13)

I’ve come to love the music of “The Wallflowers”. While Jacob Dylan is not the poet that his father is, I think he is a better performer and does have meaningful things to say in his music. In a song called, “How Far You’ve Come”, the writer says this;

It's ok to believe that you're not good enough
God is not angry, not blind, deaf or dumb
He knows how far you've come

I think he is onto something. It’s to our Master that we stand or fall. And this is true of everyone else. On the journey toward Christ, reality is what matters. Jesus’ perception is the only reality. “God is not angry, not blind, deaf or dumb, He knows how far you've come.”

Michael Taylor

Note: The song "How Far You've Come" is from the Rebel Sweetheart album.


Screaming Flea said...

....if we are being developed by the Holy Spirit. That, in some cases is one big "if". The fruit of one's life will tell if that is true. The fruit of one's life will also tell if one is being deluded by some deceiving spirit, a concept many believers ignore or deny. As to your main point... I certainly agree that He knows how far we come. "When our hearts condemn us... He is greater than our hearts." I think many of us like that scripture. What if we realized that when OUR heart condemns SOMEONE ELSE, God is greater than that as well? What if we realized, as you referenced, that His words judge, not us? Would we, just maybe, have a little love between us? Would the world perhaps then know that we really are His disciples?

Carrie Guild said...

Well, I have a lot to say on this subject but I am afraid to begin for fear of being misunderstood... I am going to give it a shot but please feel free to ask for any clarification that you may want on my opinon of this subject.

Recently I had a discussion with a friend on the word "truth." It is my belief that truth is a stable concept that doesnt move with the tides. I do, however, recognize that my "truth" will be differnt from most other peoples because of my life experiences and my "perception."

Do I beleive that there is a solid, absolute truth? The simple answer is yes. Do I think that I am right and that my truth is the right one? Once again, the simple answer is yes. Am I so arrogant to belive that my truth will never change and that I am the only one with the right answer? No!

Perception rules our lives. What we percive may not be what actually is but it IS what we make our decisions on. Whether those decisions are spiritual or practical perception rules all.

This may sound like I am falling into the trap of believing that there are no absolutes. That is not the case. I do beleive that there is a right and a wrong answer to many questions but in Romans (sorry I don't know the exact reference I am at school and don't have my Bible handy) it says that we will be judged on what we know. The more we know the more we are held responsible for. I do NOT beleive that we have to shove our beleifs in the faces of the people that we meet to force them to see our truth but I do think that we need to take time (if the situation presnets itself) to explain our views and listen to theirs.

Our opinions are important to us and we would not beleive them if we think they are false. (common sense) When I look at someone with a different perception than I have I know that I can learn something from them. Simply by finding out why they beleive what they belive I can understand more about myself and my own beliefs. Changing their minds to exactly mirror mine would take away their identity. I would rather share with them my perception and let them learn from me as I did from them.

Ok, well I think I have babbled on enough to fill a small novel so I will cut my thoughts off for now. Let me know what you think.

-Carrie Guild

Carrie Guild said...

Wait, I know I have rambled but I have one more thing to ask.

If our lives are supposed to show fruit, and that fruit is supposed to let us know if we are being deluded, how to we know if the fruit is good?

I mean looking around at my life I have parts that are awesome and parts that feel like they are falling apart.

In fact, with the experience that I have had when I am working my hardest at something that is for God I get attacked the most. How do you know if you are being attacked vs bearing bad fruit? Do we use the words "spiritual warfare" when speaking about our own lives and "bearing bad fruit" when we speak about someone whom we don't agree with?

Ok, I am really done now but I am curious to see what you think.

-Carrie Guild