Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Our Culture Teaches "You are Valuable Because You Produce...." A Possible Answer

I tend to be so responsible that my stomach has knots of "responsibility" in it. The positive side of this is I can yield and be obedient, giving the "ulcer" to God, along with the reins. The choice is mine it seems.

Remember from childhood dialogs like this: “what a good girl, you cleaned up all your plate”, “oh, your drawing is so good”, “you put all your toys away, good boy!” Did you ever get reminded that you were special and valuable just because you were created in the image of God? My sister spent some time using braces and crutches because she had paralytic polio. There were many things she couldn’t do like other children could. Our family might have been a bit different because we had that focus. If Colette couldn’t do something that definitely didn’t make her less valuable to any of us, she was just a bit different in those areas. I wouldn’t have traded my wonderful sister, all she and I learned together about character, making good and polite responses to curious onlookers, standing taller than someone with two good legs, or any of the other more serious inside beauty issues for a “normal” sister. I am still loving and learning from her as we are both in our 60s and she is now back in a wheel chair.

Our family doesn’t look at Colette as valuable because of what she produces but as who she was and is. She has grown into a gracious, feisty, inventive, creative woman of God in spite of or possibly partly because of not having “normal” legs.

In spite of this great example I struggle still with my value being equated to what I can “do”.
Ephesians 2:8-10 (New International Version)
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

We are a very works oriented society. "You are worth what you produce" seems to be the standard from childhood up. Yet, we are truly valuable because we are created in God's image PERIOD. How to get that from my head into my heart and being is somewhat of a mystery.  Somewhere in there I start thinking that God loves me because I am a "good kid", obedient and I "produce". This is not His message to me.
It is then the Holy Spirit shows me this isn't my “production”, that it comes from Jesus in me. It is Jesus in me as I get quiet, yield and take up my cross daily. My deeds are supposed to flow out of my love for Him who sets me free.

"Take up my cross daily", a bunch of slivery sounding words as vague as "die to self". How do you do either of them? I want steps and a plan.

Take up my cross and die to "self":

*shoot down "I did it!"  
*blast the strut and puffed up ego
*kill pride over accomplishments
*realize it took SO long because I kept jumping off the table every time surgery began
*REST, knowing God isn't into "production"
*there is "produce" but it comes as Jesus' grows fruit in me. Jesus' steam and energy as I roll over DEAD to SELF 

I must : 
*cease to struggle and rest
* yield my will 
*obey/act when God says
*put the ball in His court
* be amazed at what He is doing
* let Him change me
*be on His time table 

I am released from: 
*fuss and struggle
* worry
* "I" did it with too much pride and responsibility attached
* production oriented worth

I am released to:
*be like Jesus
* have energy to pray and praise Him
* raise my arms and praise
* receive unconditional love
* be FREE in Jesus

Prayer: Oh, Jesus, this is SO good. Please help me to walk in this freedom. Thank You for sharing Your heart! Be with my sister, Colette, today and give her an especially blessed day in you. Thank you that you are still helping me learn from her example. I long for the day when she will be able to dance and run and leap for joy in you even though she already can do all these things in her spirit. Thank you for my dear sister. AMEN

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Anonymous said...

Someday I hope to meet up with you and Colette. That would be so fun! Love you cousin.


tonjia rolan said...

Wow. I totally agree. We have value because we exist, plain and simple. I'm glad I am not the only one struggling to overcome ego. Much love, Tonjia