Thursday, October 29, 2009

Good Words to Remember - Meaningful

Over and over in Ecclesiastes, King Solomon repeats the exact opposite of this word. He shouts it four times in his opening sentence, saying, “‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the Teacher. ‘Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.’”

If you give Ecclesiastes a mere surface reading, you will walk away thinking it is a very depressing book. You must look deeper. Solomon had everything he could have wanted, materially, but he found it all to be meaningless…under the sun. Many theologians say this phrase means “apart from God.” When realized as such, Solomon’s words wake us up to the reality that we can have all of the earthly pleasures that advertisements and commercials tell us we need, but as long as we are pursuing them “under the sun” it will be a meaningless pursuit.

A meaningful life is lived when we do all things, even eating and drinking, not “under the sun” but “through the Son” because “in him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him” (Colossians 1:16). “Under the sun” even the loftiest of the world’s delights are meaningless but “through the Son” even the lowest of the world’s duties are meaningful.

Meaningful – a good word to remember.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Humility vs. Humiliation

Nothing says power struggle like those two little letters put together…“vs”. Life seems to be so much of a power struggle sometimes and it is exactly that struggle that leads so many into the addictive cycle they so want to have power over.

What is the difference between humility and humiliation? I was with a group of friends a few days ago and this topic came up. Don’t you wish you had my friends? One of my older and wiser friends, who is often known as being once again worded it perfectly…I will not do so here…so, here is my paraphrase…Humility comes from within and humiliation comes from without. To unpack that, humility is something that is an inner gift of the Spirit while humiliation is something that Bret Favre wanted the Packers to feel last night in MNF.

So I started thinking…maybe the more humility we accept, ask for, and cultivate in our own souls, the less someone else has the power to humiliate us. Humiliation, a synonym of shame is one of the main drivers of the addiction cycle but if we continue to humble ourselves before our Maker, he will lift us up above the accusations of the many who are trying to shame us – even the ones who don’t even know that is what they are doing.

I have had a long streak of sobriety, longer than I have had in a long time and the Enemy is taking this as an opportune time to try out some old lies on me to see if I, maybe getting somewhat prideful of my sobriety, might believe them again. He is saying, you are married now so you are fine. You don’t need “accountability” anymore. What did it do for you anyways?

It is only humbling myself before my Maker, remembering that my life has become unmanageable but because of his grace I have been redeemed and will be sustained to the day when all evil is gone, that I will be able to go throughout my day avoiding the ambushes the Enemy is setting for me. The Enemy wants to ambush me, trap me, and leave me wounded so that I might go back to my old medication cycle, which is a trap in itself.

Derek Webb
says it well. “I don’t want medication just give me liberation even if it cuts my legs right out from underneath don’t give me medication I want the real sensation even when living feels just like death to me.”