Sunday, January 09, 2011

Not Who I Am, Part Two

I know, I know;  again with the part two.  I always think of more to say and yesterday I had a lot of time to think while I was laying in bed with the stomach flu.  I thought maybe I had dodged it, but no such luck!

There’s another area God has really been working in my heart that I think fits here. Being selfish, it is not who I am to be happy for other people’s good news. Over the years when I have found out someone got a job, or is pregnant or child did something wonderful my natural reaction is often jealousy, bitterness or anger. I’ll think, “Well my kid is pretty great too!”  or “Why don’t you just sacrifice and stay home with your children like I do!”  or “Does God not love me as much?”

I think women are famously good at those kind of antics.  I have heard of and read blogs and forums that are written exclusively to bash other people.  Maybe we  have to find a way to boost ourselves up because we are insecure about our standing.  We want it to be all about us.  We want things to work out our way.  Sometimes I think we feel stuck in our circumstances and can’t see past that.

Do you know what I think my problem is?  It’s trust.  Do I trust that Christ is in control?  And that He is going to bring and take things in my life for His purposes and glory?  Because if I do, then I should be thrilled for someone else’s job or pregnancy even if He isn’t giving those things to me right now.  Is He in control?  Absolutely.  Does He have the same path for everyone?  No way. 

That is not who God wants me to be.  As He’s changing my heart and making me more content and secure in Him, it has changed my reactions.  I want everyone to experience God’s blessings like I have. I keep thinking about this verse:

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.  Do not be conceited.  Romans 12:15-16

Whether or not people are actually bragging or just happily sharing about their lives my response can rise above all that.  Through the power of Christ I can show love and rejoice along with them.  I can stand back and let them have the spotlight.  I can encourage and support them.  I can cheer for them and whoop it up when they have good news.  Because I know my standing is secure.  Jesus died for me when I didn’t deserve it.  He has a plan for me and it’s a good plan even though it might be different from everyone else’s.

I was trying to think of an example that wouldn’t be too serious.  My sister got an iPad for Christmas.  I didn’t go down the path of “She always gets what she wants”  or “Hey, I wanted an iPad!”  I know it sounds like a twelve year old but don’t we all still do that?  Instead,  I was truly happy for her.  I think that’s because I have finally embraced the fact that material things will not make me happy.  And plus she’s pretty good at sharing now.

It is so freeing to be able do that!  That is not who I am naturally, but through Christ I can rejoice with those who rejoice.  Why would I not want God’s best for everyone?  That’s not who I am anymore.  I am happy for a friend’s promotion or new pair of shoes or new furniture or new baby.  I can rejoice in what God is doing in other people’s lives, not just mine. 

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  Philippians 4:4-6


Peter and Nancy said...

What has been exposing for me is when I've had no problem being happy for certain people, but then do the begrudging thing for others . . . that usually means I have no grace for that person. Good thing it's not my job to hand out grace to everyone. Sigh.

3 Dudes and a Diva said...

WOW, another great post that really hits home! I am so guilty of this! I found you through Pixel Perfects blog and I have now added you to my blog roll! You have a great gift for sharing your heart and a great way with words.