Eavesdropping on yet another verbal exchange, this time between John the Baptist and his disciples, we discover more clues about who God is, what his kingdom is about and who we really are.
We spent time this past Sunday talking about how we can often become so self motivated that it consumes our being and skews the way we experience those around us. Feelings of competition, comparison and jealousy poison our concept of value and self worth and often send us spiraling downward – away from who God made us to be, and out of the reach of those who need to hear His story.
“When we start being too impressed by the results of our work, we slowly come to the erroneous conviction that life is one large scoreboard where someone is listing the points to measure our worth. And before we are fully aware of it, we have sold our soul to the many grade-givers. That means we are not only in the word, but also of the world. Then we become what the world makes us. We are intelligent because someone give us a high grade. We are helpful because someone says thanks. We are likable because someone likes us. And we are important because someone considers us indispensable. In short, we are worthwhile because we have successes. And the more we allow our accomplishments – the results of our actions – to become the criteria of our self-esteem, the more we are going to walk on our mental and spiritual toes, never sure if we will be able to live up to the expectations which we created by our last successes.” (H. Nouwen, Out of Solitude)
“Who am I? I am the one who is liked, praised, admired, disliked, hated, or despised. Whether I am a pianist, a businessman, or a minister, what matters is how I am perceived by my world. If being busy is a good thing, then I must be busy. If having money is a sign of real freedom, then I must claim my money. If knowing people proves my importance, I will have to make the necessary contacts. The compulsion manifests itself in the lurking fear of failing and the steady urge to prevent this by gathering more of the same – more work, more money, more friends.”
(Henri Nouwen – The Way of the Heart)
“Our lives must fine their place in a greater story or they will find their place in a lesser story.” (H Stephen shoemaker)
“If we turn our backs upon light where shall we go but into darkness?” (Newbigin)