Dying 2 Live...!

Dying 2 Live...!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Judge, Jury & Executioner

I know some generation Xers like myself, the recent oldies, are familiar with Pee-Wee Herman. His most reflective statement, "I know you are, but what am I?" was a beckoning call for effectively dealing with wrongful judgments and harsh criticisms. Even if the person called him a jerk, dummy, stupid or some other derogatory term; he would bounce it off of him with that statement.

But this post is not really about past and present adventures of Pee-Wee Herman, it's about you and I. First off, we shouldn't be spewing out wrongful judgments about others. As Christians too often that's our badge of honor---judging. For individuals who are suppose to be Christlike, biblical and Godly; we usually come off as anti-Christ, unbiblical and worldly. We go around worrying about things that weren't priorities for Jesus, but is somehow made to be our ultimate priorities in life for relating to one another.

Thus, we judge. We condemn. We criticize. And we continue to forcefully kick others while they're still down. The crazy thing, we condone it all with the ridiculous belief that we're doing the service of God in a more convincing manner. Again, these weren't a priority for Jesus and many of them He adamantly opposed.

In our willful pursuit of self-righteousness coupled with distasteful arrogance, we wrongly represent Christ. Secondly, we shouldn't be losing our perspective this badly. According to Scripture, we're called to love, serve and reconcile others to God, not nitpick and constantly judge them.  

Thirdly, Miles McPherson, pastor of the Rock Church - San Diego spells all of this out more precisely than I have through his current sermon series - EXPOSED. Check the Exposed series out here.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Stop the Rivalries...!

We start off as a rambunctious baby ready to take on the world. We're grateful for milk in a bottle, diaper changing, comfortable cribs and loving parents. Life is good and we wouldn't want to have it any other way. Siblings help care for us with joy, we get chauffeured around in our own car seat and cruise in our own stroller. And then it happens, out of nowhere, we notice another baby cruising in the mall next to us. Their stroller is nicer in form, parent more attractive and outfit more stylish. What in the world is this! Dare I say it; someone's living it up better than you are. Instead of one sibling, they have three. Instead of one bottle, they have two. They have fluffy Elmo shoes, along with a Dora the Explorer hat.

In baby terms, they're in a higher Sesame Street tax-bracket. What injustice! How dare your parents deprive you of the grandest life possible! All that previous gratitude you were experiencing before, the feelings of love and acceptance suddenly goes out the window. You're angry at this slight; this new revelation that someone else in life is better off than yourself. So you cry and cry for hours at a time. It's not that you're getting deprived of your daily milk intake, or siblings' care. But it's the horrors of recalling your experience at the mall---the baby with the Elmo shoes.

Now this scenario sounds a bit bizarre for adults like ourselves. Babies don't care how well other babies are doing, or do they? Maybe they're doing a good job of concealing it. Often times, we go through life wearing a mask. As a result of insecurity, inferiority or depression we seek to be somebody we're not. We want to fit in, be welcomed, be adored. At any cost, we're battling for that acceptance. And the struggle is with others, unbecoming to ourselves, who are battling for the same thing. Actually, the Elmo baby is having some of the same feelings toward another baby in that same mall. And all these babies grow up, but many of those same feelings linger on. So we continue to play this cat-and-mouse game with each other. We even get good at it. It's just that we never seem to quite catch up, no matter how hard we chase.

All of a sudden, our lives become a continuous rivalry that's overwhelming and super-consuming. It's seemingly unending, and we can't ever find the breaks to this cycle. It goes something like this: the kid down the street just got a new toy, so we bug our parents night-and-day for a new toy; then it's a new bike, so we repeat the same nagging system to dad or mom for that bike. Then we grow a little older and it becomes the video game console, designer clothes, jewelry or shoes. As we age the discontent becomes more apparent, more expensive. Now it's a luxury car, Ivy League college, or budding career where we can climb some imaginable ladder for worth and acceptance. Next, it's that dream wedding, VP position, mansion in the suburbs and beautiful kids. And the cycle starts all over again with making our kids just as entrenched in this cycle as we are, their hopeless parents.

Eventually it has to stop; someone in the family has to wake up and cut the umbilical cord to foolish rivalries. Your neighbor has more toys (cars, boat, vacation home, etc) than you, so what! Your kids aren't the best in every sport, so what! You're not married to the love-of-your-life, so what! Life goes on and none of these things were ever meant to be a sole means to your happiness, gratitude and contentment. On the contrary, they may end up bringing misery, hopelessness and discontentment if you look for them to fulfill your life. They're not designed to do that; they're just stuff, lots and lots of stuff. Ask yourself: "How many trophies will be enough? When will I be totally satisfied with my appearance, looking in the mirror with freedom? What will bring me true happiness, not the fleeting kind?" After you've sat down and thought about it for a while, your answers may surprise you. And if you exchange rivalry comparison for gratitude, you find your life is much better off than you first thought.

"For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." 2 Corinthians 10:12 NKJV

"Now godliness with contentment is great gain." 1 Timothy 6:6 NKJV