Thursday, April 27, 2006

Struck By a Thought

I've had an epiphany.

It occured to me the other day that this is what I think: Anyone who thinks something I do is wrong is legalistic, and anyone who does something I think is wrong is ungodly.

Wait a minute!! This isn't right! How can I think that only people who live exactly as I do are right? Am I really so arrogant to think I have some kind of a corner on righteous living? Wow, it's startling to be so vividly reminded of my pride.

I'm still pondering how to get out of this way of thinking. It probably comes down to discernment. Some differences between myself and others should be accepted with joy as a reminder of the various ways God has created us humans. Other differences should just be set aside because they aren't important enough to affect the relationship. Then there are things that can be opportunities for discipleship, in the right time. And once in a while, I have to avoid someone completely because of the truth in 1 Corinthians 15:33.

The tricky part is knowing which situations fit into which categories. For starters, I'm going to try to remember that I'm not the local expert on how to live, and my prayer is:

Lord, may I see the people around me as you see them.


Lindsay said...

Thank you for sharing your epiphany!

Anyone who thinks something I do is wrong is legalistic, and anyone who does something I think is wrong is ungodly.

I struggle with feeling that way too. For instance, I think some people can be legalistic about clothes. Standards are good, just not legalism. But then when I see girls wearing clothes I wouldn't wear because they're too tight or revealing, I think they're immodest and need higher standards. Then I'll think, "Well, maybe the Lord hasn't convicted them of their modesty standards yet," and trust that the Lord will do so if it's His will. But wait...isn't that still the same thought process, that I'm right and they're wrong? Why else would I think they needed to be convicted?

We do what we do and have the standards we have because we think that's what is right. So then how do you balance doing what you believe is right with not thinking others are wrong for doing something different? I've actually been thinking about this lately and wondering. Maybe it just comes down to having a teachable spirit and knowing that the Lord could always show you you're wrong. Some people are so set in their ways that it would pretty much take a miracle for them to change. So maybe the key is just knowing that we don't have all the answers and being open to the Lord changing us.

I'm trying to figure all this out too, so none of this is directed at you specifically, just me rambling on. :)

Katie said...

Those are very insightful thoughts, Lindsay. That's a good point that the Lord is continually opening our eyes to further truth. We just have to be obedient to what he's shown us to be right, and always be open to the possibility that we could be wrong about something.