If they don't know then what kind of grace do we have? Who are they? How do they think? Are they in and around your circle of friends?
I am a people watcher. I have always surprised people over how much I remember because if you know me in person I am carefree, easily distracted, and appear to not always follow all the details. Funny thing is I get what most people don't and can later come back and recall most of the conversation and details every thing in the room. Capturing all the details serves me well as an interior designer and consultant. It was my job to listen well.
Spiritual Growth is what I want to address. "They" are all of us who know Jesus personally as our Lord and Savior. I sat on the sidelines of a conversation this past weekend. I like to listen, ask a few questions and contributed nothing but an ear. A woman my age, asking questions about what the "right" thing to do in a specific situation. I was a little perplexed in the simplicity of her question, and how deeply concerned she was over doing the right thing. My question to her was simply this "the right thing by whose standards". She looked at me with deeper thought and she said "I guess I would want to know what the Bible might say about this".
A woman who has walked with Jesus for over thirty years did not know what the Bible might say about a situation in her life that seemed so easy for me. So easy that I could even place a chapter in the Bible that spoke on it. Whoa there Elizabeth get off that Holy Cow I know the Bible Wow horse. It just so happens that I had enough experiences with this situation I was well, you know, well rehearsed only appearing to be very Biblically scholarly.
The other person, more involved in the conversation had a lot to say, many passages of scripture along with some world views on how things should be handled. I did not agree with most of what she said, but my agreeing is not the point of this post. Do we take for granted the heart of another because we assume that they have completed the study of the Bible? When the intentions are to do what is right, only to do it all wrong and then sit back, observe, and think or say...sheesh and she/he calls themselves a Christian.
This is a funny little story. A dear friend and I would get together at least once or twice a week. She was a younger friend, not much older than my oldest. Each time we were together, out and about town, a long walk, trip to the mall she would say..."can I have some of those bars you keep in your purse?" The first few times I was very generous, without a thought. The next few times I kind of grumbled. I have lack of food issues, like headaches and weakness and for that reason keep high protein bars on me at all times. I also have three little boys who get hungry, so I always have my car stocked with a healthy snack option on the run. So my grumblings one day turned into a polite question. Rita (name has been changed) may I ask why you never pack any snacks for yourself? You have shared many times how you are starving and like me, have lack of food issues, so I am just curious? Is it a money thing because if it is let me know your favorites and I will stock you up." I then went on to share that each week she needed something and depleted my stock, and me often coming up with nothing when out and about town.
She then said something like..."I never thought to pack little snacks. It's not a money thing, I was just never taught that." I told her that I truly didn't mind feeding her if we were planning to be together over lunch, but quite honestly it's always random and I don't carry boxes in my car. Now this all may sound like a silly little story. She thanked me, and next time we were together thanked me for the idea and told me that even her husband would get frustrated that she never packed anything. She just did not know, and admitted she had never been taught this.
Are we sometimes like that in our walk with Jesus. We think what we are doing is how it is, and then we learn something that we never knew before. Something that we kind of think any one should know this. I have grimaced many times over behaviors of what I thought someone should know, only to engage in conversation and realize that they really did not know, just like the snack situation with my friend. Perhaps I am way behind in this learning curve, but "they" truly do not always know, and have made decisions based on what they do know. "We" often make judgements over the assumptions of the simple fact that they should have known.
I like to ask questions, a lot of questions. My children are known for asking questions and have been teased all through high school of this family legacy so to speak. In asking questions we learn the heart of another and how they know and understand God. Sometimes I am taught so much by the sharing of hearts. I realize how little I know. Then sometimes I can share the experiences of how God showed me, through His Word what was to be the right thing to do. I have had many times of not having that food bar with me and ending up with headaches and starving and fortunately I learned the art of being prepared.
I am learning so much about extending grace. God has so extended so much to me that I have learned to step back, do some sober estimating and realize that as we all grow Spiritually we truly are in different places and can learn so much from each other.
I think that is one of the reason I love reading blogs from Godly women, who think they may be just rambling a few thoughts. I learn from those thoughts and get taken to a deeper understanding of God and grow. I pray that those who pass through here do learn more about how to live and love like Jesus.