Monday, December 18, 2006

On cross examinations . . . of myself

My attitude frequently does not make any sense in light of what I profess to believe about Jesus. For example, I say I believe that God's mercy, his undeserved goodness, is at work in the world--even toward me. I believe that it will "pursue me all the days of my life." Now, even a minimal appreciation of the implications of that fact would prevent me from getting bent out of shape about pretty much anything--ever. And yet, I bend out of shape. Why? Because I am failing to recognize the significance and breadth of what God is doing, or (worse) just turning a deaf ear to it. I fail to listen to and and contemplate God's good news and instead follow lines of reasoning based on something other than the gospel that I profess to trust.

It's these inconsistencies of thinking that a few well directed questions can bring to light with shocking clarity. Better to shock yourself (to yourself) than leave it to someone else, I think. Here are some questions that I zing myself with to snap me toward gospel thinking when I find myself using something much less worthy:
  • For use when I'm angry, hurt, etc. about not getting something I want or feel I deserve: "So, is Jesus not enough for me?"
  • For use when I am enjoying my "right" to be upset, disappointed, etc.: "What does God deserve from me, this moment and always?"
  • For use when I'm about to run out of patience with anyone: "What kind of love does God have for me? (What does he want shown to anyone?)"

Anyway, there are more, but you get the picture. I find that any scripture or fact about God that I would like to honestly hold can be turned into a question to point out my current rejection of it. Most people, I imagine, talk to themselves for the purpose of self-correction among other things. Feel free to add these to your repertoire and give me some of your own favorite corrective zingers.

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