Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Soul Survivor
I've had a few soul-searching experiences this week that have led to disappointing discoveries about myself.  These sorts of things always shape me into a better person, so I'm glad for them, but they are hard to endure.

The first was a visit to a Jewish temple for a birthday party.  It was the first time for me to visit a completely different religious institution.  I've visited plenty of different denominations, but I have always known that, whatever our differences, we all believe in God AND Jesus and we have a certain standard of behavior.  As I anticipated our trip to the temple, I imagined the people at the party would be somehow "set apart" from the world.  The Jews have always had a mysterious veil around them in my mind, and I expected something magical, I suppose.  Of course, as it turned out, they were just regular people.  Honestly, that didn't surprise me...but, somehow the fact that they didn't seem set apart was a bit of a disappointment for me. 

Then I got to thinking about what a non-Christian must anticipate before visiting a Christian church or even going to a party with a bunch of Christians.  I'm guessing they are anticipating a big difference from the usual party.  But, sometimes, in our desire to appear "cool" to others, we don't act in a way that is set apart from the world.  Indeed, we want others to think we are hip.  We may be embarrassed if we don't drink.  We may think they will be uncomfortable if we talk about Godly things.  We may want to show that we are just as aware of popular culture as they are.  Why do we do this?  Honestly, it has never occurred to me that they may be hoping we are set apart.  They may want to see a glimpse of what it means to be one of God's people.  So, I have some things to work on.   Got some inhibitions to cast aside.

The second thing that happened is I heard some VERY interesting gossip.  It is gossip of the juiciest kind.  I am usually quite good at not passing around gossip.  I can keep a secret for decades, if not for life.  But this time I am terribly tempted to share what I've heard, even though I know it would be wrong.  So, here are the soul searching questions: (1) Why do I want to share the gossip? and (2) Isn't it true that I enjoy HEARING gossip?  (3)  Why do I enjoy hearing gossip?

I may pride myself on keeping my mouth shut, but keeping my ears open is just as bad.  And the answers to why I'm so tempted to share this particular information can't say anything good about me, so I'd rather not know.   And, if you're wishing you knew what the juicy gossip is all about, we should pray for each other!!


Blogger M.Stonecipher said...

Isnt wonderful how God slips lessons in on us?
So many people go to church on Sunday for a lesson from God but they ignore the all the other things He shows us because it didnt happen in the church house.
There is a big difference between going to church and being in church. There is a reason he put you in this situation, you might not know the answer for a long time but sometime you will use what He has shown you.
I would love to talk to you at length about this subject sometime, there are things you will find out about me that very few people know. God had/has a job for me to do and I have asked to let it pass from me for a while and it has so far... I have asked for 2 of the 3 witnesses and got them... I am afraid I would get the third. I know I should do it but am terrified to do it. I know someday He will say you have waited long enough and now is the time to speak and here are the words. nuff said this turning into a book

11:29 PM, July 21, 2004  
Blogger Jan said...

Very cryptic of you, but I am always happy to hear about God working on people. He has revealed a purpose for me, too. At first, it was a little scary, but I've found that He has been preparing me for years and continues preparing me even today. My time has not yet come. Through a lot of prayer and a lot of listening, I have learned that I must be trained up for my task, and He is patiently training me. He will equip you, too, until your fears are relieved and your purpose is fully revealed.

11:43 PM, July 21, 2004  
Blogger Dawn said...

Greetings, Jan - Sorry to write a personal note in your comments, but I'm at work and don't have your e-mail handy. Just want to let you know that I really like your observations on this topic and have written a post about them, which I'll put up later tonight. In His love - Dawn

1:48 PM, July 24, 2004  
Blogger MoMMY said...

You said, "They may want to see a glimpse of what it means to be one of God's people."

I believe they think THEY are one of God's people. Don't forget they share the Old Testament with you.

10:54 AM, July 29, 2004  
Blogger Jan said...

Thanks for your comment. I really meant to say non-believers (in God), but I said non-Christians, which would, indeed, include Jews. Your point is well-taken, and I'm sorry for the mis-step. What I'm really trying to get at is that those of us who claim to be God's people should not be hesitant to act as such. It is just possible that those who are seeking God are actually hoping to see us act like God's people.

12:23 PM, July 29, 2004  

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