Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Unspeakable Gift

"Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift." --2 Corinthians 9:15

Thanks to an early morning visitor (all you ladies know of this particular brand of company) I did not attend church this weekend; however I did hear God speak over the noise of the vacuum this morning.

I have an attitude problem. Although I was a relatively quiet child, the strength and magnitude of my opinions about an assortment of subject matter has always been fierce. Perception has also been a skill that I have sharpened since a young age. I have relearned how to buffer my reactions in maturity, but the visceral feelings still remain: if I don't like you, I don't like you. I have more than likely never liked you and it's probable I never will.

There is not a long list of people I don't like. But the ones I don't like, I typically really don't like and it's for a good reason.

I don't like pretentious people. I don't like fake people. God help you if you present both qualities. It's going to be very stressful for me to keep my thoughts to myself. I can stand just about every personality type and world view and numerous flaws. But please, keep your pretense to yourself lest I disarm you at any given moment the opportunity arises.

God had a little talk with me this morning about my attitude about pretentious people. He reminded me about what follows the often-quoted and less-frequently-practiced verse about loving your enemies:

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.  If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.

Then God reminded me of The Pineapple Story. 

Sometimes I don't like God. He always seems to introduce Himself into the picture when I am making a fantastic demonstration of someone'e stupidity, lack of social skills, self-importance, or general ignorant behavior. Typically I am also underscoring how I dare said-individual to say/do any particular thing because if they dare...well, you get the picture.

After this election year I have seen a lot of people say a lot of things that are very unpleasant, ungodly, and quite frankly appalling, ungracious, and hateful.

But I don't answer of others. I answer for myself. I remembered the lessons I learned as a very young child when my Mother gave me The Pineapple Story. We are guided through a story about anger and what it is to love others like Christ by a disgruntled missionary who is sick of the natives taking his fruit:

I look forward to giving this book to a few of those who read this blog. I hope that it will bring the humility and wisdom that I experienced this morning in remembering Paul's words about generosity--not only in material things, but also in spiritual provision.

The freely scattered seeds we plant in this life are the righteous harvest that endures forever. 

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