I find it fascinating how there are always so many overlapping elements in my ongoing journey as a pilgrim in progress (BTW – if you don’t already own the book – Pilgrim in Progress – I’d recommend getting a copy).
Yesterday’s post, for example – Put on the armor of God but walk humbly – dovetailed beautifully with this morning’s lesson in the Saturday men’s group I attend.
We were talking about “Blind Spots” that hold us back in our growth as whole people, and as committed followers of The New and Living Way of Jesus. Front and center is the importance of being honest when it comes to who we are. We can’t change, we can’t move forward, we can’t grow into the phenomenal potential we were designed for… unless we are willing to see ourselves as God sees us. God sees us as beloved children, yes, but also as people in need of the filling, the cleansing, the equipping, the guidance, and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my thoughts.
See if there is any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting. – Psalm 139:23-24
Then when I got home I found a “memory” our son, Andrew, had posted in my Facebook feed. It’s been five years, apparently, since he purchased the VW Golf TDi that’s now sitting in my driveway. And I thought about how dishonesty, deception, and cheating have not only cost Volkswagen billions of dollars in fines, but caused massive rifts in relationships, a huge loss of trust, and – in addition – effectively stalled forward progress for a corporation historically known as a leader in energy efficiency and clean power.
But The Truth Sets Us Free!
A lot of us are like that; we present the world… our friends… our colleagues… fellow church members… even our spouse… with one image of who we are, and we build carefully constructed walls around the very places where we need to be known. But the truth – Jesus said – will set us free; if only, that is, we have the courage to be humble, and to allow the healing love of God access to all that we are and all that we can be.
Jesus said to the Jews who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teaching. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:31-32
We can’t move forward as individuals, in our relationships, or as disciples of Jesus unless we are willing to be honest – both with ourselves and with others.
I believe we would all benefit from becoming part of covenant communities where we have both the opportunity to be ourselves and the quality of supportive environment in which to heal and to grow.
Lord knows this nation needs more people committed to humble, constructive, open self-evaluation… It would certainly make a positive change from today’s incessant obsession with judging everyone else.
Peace – and I mean that in every way – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.