PEA RIDGE I have been reminded once again of how easily I become frustrated at other’s actions, or rather their inactions. In this case the results of their failure to keep their promise to me complicated what I was trying to do and resulted in my failure to be able to keep the promises I had made to others because the promises I had made were based on my relying on others keeping their promise to me.
I spent some time trying to figure out why I become so frustrated. It’s not like I didn’t know from dealing with them in the past this was part of their behavior pattern; in fact, I rather expected them to behave as they did so why the frustration when events took the course I expected?
Anyone who has been around toddlers knows, no matter how much patience one has with them, they have a unique way of getting under our skin. They have the ability to do this even though we know their behavior patterns and we really don’t expect them to behave more maturely than their age.
One reason my behavior bothered me was I felt I wasn’t living up to my “maturity level.” I find myself feeling as Paul expressed in Romans 7:18-19: “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” This is why he continues in verse 24: “O, wretched man that I am!
who shall deliver me fromthe body of this death?”
I found myself - as did Moses in Numbers 20, who allowing his spirit to be contaminated by the behavior of others, led to his disobeying God - behaving in a manner inconsistent with my calling as a Christian both in attitude and deed.
After some time, I realized peoples’ behavior often depends on the degree of personal investment, in other words, how much the situation affects them.
The more the situation hits “close to home,” the more people are motivated to become actively involved, the less it affects them personally, the less the motive to keep promises made.
As Christians, we aren’t given the luxury of basing our behavior on the level of personal investment, either someone else’s or our own. As Christians we’re commanded - this means it’s not open for debate or discussion - by the Lord to behave in a manner consistent with His standards, not our own. We’re told inLeviticus 20:7: “Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God” and reminded of this in First Peter 1:15-16: “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
If we must look at personal investment and base our behavior on it, let us look at the personal investment God has made in each of us - the blood of His only begotten son, shed for us while we were yet sinners that we might have eternal life - and consider the sacrifice as the foundation for our own personal investment in others.
Church, Pages 2 on 11/11/2009
Print Headline: Pastor’s Corner Live the high calling