Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Reminder

So we're in Branson right now. Family vacay--partaayy. Although, we don't "Branson" like other people do, we're sit at Starbucks, rent a pontoon, wine (well Diet Coke) and dine, and nap kinda people.

Well, let me tell you, I just spent the last 20 minutes writing a post about the garish absurdity that is Branson. But as I was writing I was trying to think of ways to soften what I was saying for the sake of the people who like the entertainment down here. And then I got that dull ache in my stomach as I realized I was being rudely judgmental towards people who may actually enjoy the shows down here. You know what? I'm rudely judgmental like that all the time.

I'm gonna let you in on the nitty gritty of myself a little bit. I am wildly and sheepishly insecure sometimes. I can belittle myself to the point of eradicating any semblance of worth. And with that comes this over-arching need to convince myself that I am better than everyone else.

Sick out.

**Note: if you're a boy, please continue on reading with grace, if you care to continue at all. This post is not all-encompassing, girls only post, it heads in a different direction in a bit.

Lately, the Lord has been sticking one word into my mind a lot. Dignity. Last summer during my internship, I led a girls bible study on Beth Moore's So Long Insecurity. It was a very sweet summer spent digging into some of the nasty reasons why we act so hatefully towards each other (guys and gals) for the sake of self-preservation.

One of the big butt-kickers to me was this idea of dignity. Bethie talked in the book about the way we unabashedly will strip dignity away from other people for the sake of adding to our own self-worth. And y'all know just what I'm talking about. It goes a little something like this...

"At least I'm not THAT big." or

"I'm so glad that I don't act like that..." or

"they may have ______, but at least I have ______."

There are a million other ways it manifests itself in the way we think, but the truth of the matter is that manifest itself it does, most ways schneaky schneakier than those. It completely pinpoints our incessant need to find some manner of being okay with ourselves, regardless of the cost to other people.

I do it all the time y'all, and I'm sorry if you have been a victim of my disgraceful warpath.

Dignity is one of those weird words that we don't use correctly often. My computer defines it as "the state of being worth of honor and respect." In fact, it used the spelling "h-o-n-o-u-r," you know, the fancy British way that exudes regality, and begs to be spoken with an English accent.

It really doesn't mean you have to stick your pinky up as you're drinking your Dr. Pepper. But it does mean treating people with equal value, regardless of any circumstance. It's the ability to have God's eyes for people and looking beyond current situations, looks, desires, and actions to seeing the eternity within each of us.

"There are no 'ordinary' people. You have never talked to a mere mortal." C.S. Lewis

It's easy to look at that as a simple reminder, but I find that this whole thing runs core deep. I've been reading Hebrews. Now, the author in Hebrews is writing to these Jews-turned-Christians. And these folks have been having moon-light chats about the "old country." Remembering the easy way when they were under the law, when they weren't ruffling anyones feathers and they didn't stand out as being an enemy, they just went about their Kosher business. But the whole book is the author reminding them of how horrible that life was, the constant need for sacrifice because the animals weren't good enough. He spends chapters of this book re-explaining why they needed Jesus and how He bridged the gap so they didn't have to live the insert-one-dead-sheep-for-30-days-of-goodness life anymore. He tells them that they need to keep looking forward, to remember the end goal, to remember their hope.

And that's exactly where this roots back to. I get so engulfed in this temporal, in my need whet my appetite for secular (if you will) acceptance. I don't belittle that either. Man, we are a part of a very real world, and that way of thinking is not to be denigrated, it's reality to all of us. We all succumb to a simple standard of cheap values that runs blood thick in some way.

Bringing this full circle, I need that reminder all the time. One Sunday long ago, Kevin at Redeemer preached about Leviticus, I ended up writing about how the point he made about what sacrifice did for the people then. The constant sacrifices were reminders of their own reality. The graphic mess of goat entrails, and putrid organs was meant to bring them back to the knowledge of their own crappy messed up selves.

Realizing the way I think about other people and myself has been one of those frustrating reminders of how terrible I am at remembering eternity and my place in it, even more so, my lack of deserving a place in it. I don't really bring anything good to the table.

But God is good. And He is good enough to punch me in the jugular with Truth when I need change in my way of thinking. So may we be reminded of our sameness and choose to believe and seek goodness for ourselves and others.

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