Made for another world

"If I discover within myself a desire which no experience in the world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." C. S. Lewis

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Gift of Right Expectation

Yesterday I wrote about not being enough. Not enough to satisfy other people, or accomplish anything on my own really. Only Jesus is enough to satisfy and to overcome our weaknesses. 

Today I'm wondering, do we allow Jesus to be enough for others as well? Grace let's others off the hook. It is a right expectation that they can never be enough to satisfy or fulfill us. Grace says, your weaknesses are covered by Jesus' righteousness. Grace has orderly expectations of God and of people. 

I'm not saying we don't hold other Christ followers accountable to a righteous life. And I'm not saying that we don't desire those living in sin to be reconciled to God.

I'm saying we live out our relationships with others, even the hard parts of confrontation and restoration, with a heart remembering that we ourselves are not enough. Expecting others to be enough to get it right all the time, please God in their own strength, and never disappoint us, is unwise and unkind. 

I think that may be what God meant when he inspired Proverbs 16:18. "Pride goes before destruction,  a haughty spirit before a fall." He hates it when his children, whom he saved when they couldn't save themselves, forget their humble beginnings and deal harshly with others. When we expect others to be enough we're saying we can be perfect ourselves, which is a lie, and God opposes that lie in our lives for our own liberation.

I have to confess, I have struggled for years with this. But God has faithfully been stripping away spiritual pride. Of course I'm disappointed when leaders don't lead, peers stumble, those who should know better don't. But the reason I'm disappointed has changed. Instead of being offended by the short comings of others, it's my love for Jesus' bride that desires the health and well being of it's members.

I've lived too long with the proverbial plank in my eye, running around pointing out others specks, their not enoughness. But I don't think the size of the sin is the issue in that teaching, I think the ownership is. Our own issues should be foremost in our lives, our sin, our obedience is our primary responsibility. It's not that we aren't supposed to assist others with their own speck. It's that we need to deal with our junk, recognize in humility the that we have junk, and remember it's a privilege to assist others with their messiness.

Not an easy task, to admit we are not enough and allow others that same freedom. But what a liberating way to live; our eyes on Jesus, trusting his righteousness for us all. Our devotion in prayer for the church body and our families, our gift of forgiveness, our hopeful expectation, are all evidence of faith in the One who is enough for us all.

Ephesians 5:1-2, "Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."

Is it harder for you to accept weakness in yourself or in another? Ask God to help you extend life giving grace today.

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