We’re Better Than That
Back in the day I used to shine my light everywhere I went. I didn’t care what anyone thought, because I was so certain that I was doing what God put in my heart to do in every moment. I wasn’t bound by the burdens of society’s approval and I did everything I could to get others I came in contact with to take off their shackles and walk in the freedom that God has given EVERYONE!!!!! I took Jesus seriously when he said not to judge, so I didn’t waste my energy judging myself or others. I practiced forgiveness every chance I was blessed with I and actually saw opportunities to forgive as God trusting me with a precious gift. After all, the Word said “what you bind on earth you bind in heaven and what you loose on earth you loose in heaven.” So I counted it as wisdom to let things go, believing also that if it looked like people were rejecting me, it was really that they were rejecting my friend Jesus and that I should not take it personally since my friend didn’t.
John 15:12-21 teaches:
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another.
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know God who sent Me.
These words were life to me as a kid because it seemed like I had been receiving disproportionate strife for what I put out for as long as I could remember. It was words like these that pulled me through no matter how many jokes, punches, or other unwarranted attacks came my way.
But then like the video said, I started to change. I stopped being me. I got enough of being projected on by people and I started dimming my light in order to try to maintain some relationships. How many have you done that? Have you ever made yourself appear less smart than you really are so that other people will feel comfortable? Have you ever downplayed your skills in any particular area so that friends or family don’t feel like you “think you’re better”? I know I have. Here’s a list of just some things that I shrank in because I thought it was necessary to maintain some form of relationship either for survival or whatever.
- Language Skills
- Financial Acumen
- Martial Arts
- Mountain Climbing
- Public Speaking
- Making Good Grades
- Having Diverse Friends
- Massage Therapy
- Interfaith Dialogues
- Hands on healing
- Interracial Relationships (Obviously got over that one)
- Bacchi Ball
- Academic excellence
- Working out
In my ignorance I thought that God would approve of my letting those things go or not going to far into them for the sake of certain relationships just as longs as I did not “give God up”. But what I didn’t realize was that these were all different forms of dimming my light which in a way is rejecting a gift from God. On the positive side though, what I dimmed in those areas, I poured into trying to understand my relationship to God, Christ, my fellow humans and the mysteries of divine and human natures. What I found was that God has never asked anyone to dim their light for any earthly relationship. It does not matter who the person is and no matter what it costs you to keep shining–even death. Because in reality God’s Life is the only Life there is. So, “Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.” And what I also learned is that dimming our lights is never anyone else’s fault–not even the “Devil”. Think Job. And if you’re not a Bible reader, it doesn’t matter. You can learn this truth in the world around us. Everything in Creation gives what it has to give even unto death and only humans make excuses for holding themselves back. We find all kinds of justifications for doing this, but the fact is it’s ridiculous because we’re better than that.
Let your light so shine before humanity, that they may see your good works and glorify your Creator in heaven.