Thursday, September 30, 2010

I Don't Like ....

Let's just hope that the finishing of that statement is something that is not human.

Even the world finds it ominous for people to use hate in describing someone. Its just too harsh of a word and two steps of causing someone harm, although there are still a few stragglers that use the hate word along with someone's name. The point is, we are not of the world and yet they have modified using the hate word with, "I just don't like so and so," and that is socially accepted. Is it acceptable with the church and in the eyes of God? Can we just not like someone and then quickly say afterwards," but I love such and such because the bible says I have to (Matthew 22:37-40 KJV)?"

Oh lets be honest already! Haven't you said it before? I have and thought it was alright because I still added that I loved them. But when put to the test, would you comply? Would you bless that person if God told you to? Do you bless people that you like? The Word says to bless those that spitefully uses you. You know the ones you feel deserves punishment for the wrong they have done you yet you see them being blessed all of the time. There is a reason for that.... they have done a lot of Christian people wrong, but God is not mocked - just do what He tells you. You don't have to see their punishment.

Enough of that, instead let's put this wrongly used phrase in perspective. Hm, let's take a look at your body. Is it perfect? Are there parts that you cover up? Have you ever taken off all of your clothes and looked in a full length mirror? Do you like what you see? Did you use to? If you did, what happened? Why don't you like what you see anymore? Do you make fun of yourself? Do you call yourself names? Do you get depressed because you don't look as you would like? If God asked if you liked yourself, what would you say?

In becoming a Christian, it was a struggle. My only reference was a girl older than me in Junior High School. She was the best dressed girl in school - as a sinner! Every girl in the school wished we had her wardrobe. And she was pretty to boot! For a little while, no one saw her. We assumed that she moved, instead she returned looking like a beatnik! No one knew what happened to her and where are all of her clothes? She explained that she became a born again believer. I didn't know what that was - all I figured to do was get away from her before she had me thinking the same way. Oddly enough, it was during this same time, someone witnessed to my mother and invited her to their church. It was the strangest thing I ever saw. All of the praising and worshiping, with as many churches as I had been to in my life time I never saw such praise. I didn't understand until this same girl came to the Sunday School for teens. Oh I knew I was never going to be apart of what they did to her and they asked. I immediately said, "no. I like me just the way I am." I was doing all I could to convince my mother to buy me some blue jeans much less take away the clothes I do have. They could not convince me to become what they did to her. They all appeared sad. I didn't know why and no one explained it to me. All I knew, change was not going to take place here - no, no, no it wasn't. I said, NO!

Long story short, someone prayed. God made those changes once I understood what happened. It took years for me to see what others knew and kept to themselves. That girl gave away all of her stuff because to her, they were her possessions and the root of her personality. She liked being the most popular and envied by all. In order for God to make those wonderful works in her come forth, she had to get rid of the barriers that kept her candle from shining.

I didn't know how mean I was until one of the church members had a conversation with me about careers. She had already established herself and I was in my first year of college. We were discussing advancement, and I said something I had thought of but never heard myself say out loud. I knew how much I desired success, it had been in me for as long as I could remember. But when she asked me how I was going to get there, something as simple as an ordinary plan could have been sufficient. Instead of me saying that I recall stating something along the lines of, "oh I will get there, no matter what I have to do. Even if it means stepping on the throat of someone who gets in my way." With that last part, I recalled gritting my teeth. The conversation trailed like the last flickers of a light bulb needing to be changed. While any Christian listening could have felt uncomfortable, I had no problems with that statement at the time. It sounded ruthless and it was good to be that way for a career woman. But how good was it to be as a Christian?

That was the beginning of me discovering personality traits that I didn't like in myself, but it was only when I saw them in others and those that gravitated towards me. The very people I didn't like, I either felt sorry for or tried to avoid. I didn't think I was obnoxious, but an obnoxious person would say or do something I agreed with and so I listened to other things he or she would have to say. Those other things made me overlook the things I didn't like. People that knew me didn't understand why I would attach myself to someone so unlikeable, but that was okay I convinced myself that as a Christian we don't have to do the things that people understand. Eventually, if one changes and the other refuses to do so, we grow apart and develop new friendships while others stay attached for years enjoying the other's company.

These different friendships made me see what I know I didn't see as a junior high school teenager thinking I had it all together and knowing it all. I certainly didn't see things clearly as a college student about to embark in the corporate world with stilletos, a briefcase, and a quick wit to rip apart the strongest of men. It wasn't my marriage (and the failure of it), my children and their academic careers, nor was it the many people I have met along the way - but it was the combination of them all and using the Word of God. He allowed me to see in all of it my fallacies and the necessary changes I had to make. He showed me how imperfect I had been and how much more I needed to change.

With the inside far more spiritually healthier than it has ever been before, I took a look at the outside - what people have seen and how I am quickly judged. The stress of the years and struggling through school, a marriage, children, a career and not having ample time to do what I needed to for my physical body could easily be seen. Covering helped until my children asked for me to go with them to the pool gathering. That's right, wearing a swim suit. Yikes!!! Could I lose a few pounds, a questionnaire asked on a website? I chuckled to myself - a few?

And then it came back around full circle. Who can say what we like and not like about someone else? The personality traits that we would rather not be around as if people are clamoring to be around you. How can we judge what someone has on or the odd thing someone said and place them in a category, never having been there ourselves? It is a humbling experience when we look at ourselves first to make comparisons as to why someone acts or looks a certain way. It makes it easier to bless someone who doesn't like you when we see our own shortcomings first (Galatians 6:4-8 AMP). How dare I say who I like and don't like. How lovable have I been? Breaking it down in this manner, we can see the childishness that we still have to put away and keep practicing to do so until it is a life style change.

Jesus! What a difference those years have made! I saw who I was. Look at me now!

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