Have you ever thought, “Why do I ‘have to’ go and do this or that?” whether when going to the assembly, or attending your life group, or serving in some capacity within the church?
I have done so many times myself! When I was just a wee-sprout, more specifically, a wee-preacher-kid-sprout, I was always expected to ‘act good.’ In most instances, just being a kid, was not sufficient. People were watching after all! My parents did the best they could to allow me to have a ‘normal childhood.’ Although I now know there is no such thing as ‘normal’ when it comes to childhood, at the time, all I knew was that I lived in a glass house and that EVERYONE was ALWAYS watching.
Being ‘expected’ to do or be, this or that, is so frustrating! On the special occasion when I was able to stretch myself to that externally imposed, unrealistic expectation called ‘good,’ I always interpreted the silent response as ‘thank you for doing what you’re told’ instead of ‘wow, what a great kid.’ It regularly left me wanting.
Eventually, however I learned to actually care about those things. For instance, when a member would host my parents in their home, I learned to value their feelings. No matter how much a person’s home excreted the smell of cat, I would never-every say as my brother often did, “wow, it stinks in here!” I began to care about the feelings of others more than my own. I suspect, that I felt their ‘on-stage’ discomfort as they too ‘performed’ for their preacher and his wife. I found wisdom in this common ground, but not without first seeking it. I regularly asked God things like, “What is this all about?” or “What am I supposed to do with this?” I didn’t have answers, but God being faithful as usual, provided them regularly!
God mixed exposure with a deep desire to understand and was always faithful to provide me PERSPECTIVE. The bible calls this wisdom and I watched it develop inside me as my avoidance of humiliation matured into genuine respect and care for other. Imagine that: God was redeeming my discomfort!
Solomon (the wisest who ever lived) encouraged us to pursue this wisdom and perspective. Proverbs chapter 2 states:
“My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. Tune your ears to wisdom and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them…seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God. For the Lord grants wisdom!…He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest…Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go. For wisdom will enter your heart…Wise choices will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe.
We are all children in certain areas, desperate for the milk of truth. The goal however is to become healthy adults who digest the ‘meatier’ issues (Hebrews 5:11-14). How long has it been since you asked God to help you understand your difficulty instead of just removing it? Maybe today is a good day for some PERSPECTIVE.