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Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Such a Pharisee

 Pretty sure I've said this before, but I'm a Pharisee. Yes, I know a lot about the Bible. Yes, I present a good front to the casual observer of what a "good person" generally looks like. The fact is, to quote Avram from The Frisco Kid, "I don't know one thing about God." 

I really don't. I have read the Old Testament a lot because I like the stories. I like the clear cut "do this and you'll be blessed; do that and you'll be cursed"-ness of it. I'm good with rules. I make my own if there aren't enough lying around to really keep me on the straight and narrow. 

The New Testament is more "do this because you love Jesus." The blessings are spiritual and eternal, not "here, have some land." The focus is on being remade from the inside-out, not looking different on the outside. That's a lot harder. It's a lot harder to be patient, run from evil and cling to what is good, in as far as it depends on me live at peace with everyone. How does that happen? 

It is past time to do the work of the Christ-follower. Get out of my head and walk the walk. Go out of my way for a human when I don't want to. Pastor Paul Sheppard once made the point that "GOD LOVES PEOPLE." I can hear him saying it over and over, and I now say it to myself over and over. It's good to know. 

At the worst of my worst days, I was exhausted and hating myself for how horrible I felt and acted. As I embrace recovery, I'm still exhausted but at least I tried to do good, be kind, be patient, be gracious, be encouraging, be loving through the day, and so I don't hate myself as much. Practicing the fruits of the Spirit is my reasonable act of service. I think it was David Jeremiah who said serving God is worshipping God. My obedience is more acceptable to Him than any other thing I might offer. That's my daily goal now. To serve God, serve others and keep myself out of it. 

Keep the faith. 

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