Wednesday, September 27, 2006

And be subject to one another...

I think I just found something that could help me with the challenge from yesterday's reading. It's in Ephesians 5.
Be very careful then, how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. ... and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
Ephesians 5.15-16,21
Or, as the NIV has it, "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ."

Could it be that if I submit more to the lovely Carol, rather than trying to prove myself right in her eyes, that I'd have an easier time with unwholesome words? H'm, I think maybe so.

Come to think of it, if I submit and serve others more, if I love them rather than try to use them to make me feel OK about myself (Have I mentioned Searching for God Knows What lately? He has a great section on this.)

OK, let me see if I can explain this before I lose consciousness. The way I understand it is like this:

To feel OK about myself, I need something from somebody. This is because I'm created in God's image; I'm relational. Though I might be an introvert, I'm not a robot. (Really!)

The Somebody that will satisfy me is God himself. But he's a little hard to control; he doesn't fit in a box, I can't see him -- all that kind of stuff. So the natural tendency is to look for other people -- they're made in the image of God, too, and hence are the closest thing to him in the universe -- and try to get them to give me that *something* that will make me feel OK about myself.

To do this, I try to prove myself right (, smart, nice, powerful, attractive, whatever) in their eyes.

But this is tragic in several ways. First, if I'm trying to get something out of them, I'm using them rather than loving and serving them.

Second, my efforts are doomed to failure (for all concerned), because they can't give me what I need anyway!

And because we're all doing this to each other, things aren't too pleasant.

But if we repent -- if I repent, then I can at least make life better for those immediately around me. And so I try.

But I need help -- help from the only Someone powerful enough and good enough to do it.

And luckily, he is willing and able. Good news.

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