Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body (1 Cor 6:19-20).
So as we explore hearing and doing, it occurs to me that my posts are coming together in a rather random manner. This is God’s doing. I say that in all seriousness. I have been trying and trying to find the round pegs to put in the round holes, I swear I have! I love it when things follow a logical order. I consider myself to be a logical thinker (or maybe that was just “the before kids” me?). But I keep getting what look like square pegs and He is saying to me, Put them in the round holes. I can make them fit. I am writing my heart for you, just as He has written it for me.
And I find my self saying this again and again lately but…I used to be so organized! I think there is actually a book by that name, but I have not read it (perhaps I need to). I only mention this to say that maybe I am not alone in this?
I used to find such comfort in order. I am a recovering perfectionist, though you might not believe me, if you could see my pantry. I do think that perfectionism is an idol of sorts to many women. Have you ever thought, if I could just “get it together”, my life would make more sense? What about, If I could finish my to do list, I would be at peace? There’s this too, if I can keep my house is in perfect order, maybe my life won’t feel like it is falling apart?
I have lived there, on and off, for years. But more and more I see that placing my faith in me (my ability, my work, my planning) is a sort of idolatry. Idolatry is when we worship, place our faith in or call most worthy, something other than the LORD. To think that I could bring meaning, or planning, or order to my own life is foolishness. It is all vanity and striving after the wind…
Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man’s envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after the wind…Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after the wind (Ecc 4:4, 6)
Yet, I also struggle with the idol of gluttony. This is thinking that I can find comfort, or peace, or escape from troubles by seeking pleasure in useless activities like online shopping (hello Amazon.com), pouring over FaceBook, or drowning my sorrows in Blue Bell ice cream (but that stuff is good, y’all). Truth: lately I have been losing the battle to Girl Scout cookies. Yet, this is just the other end of the continuum, the other extreme. We lose our way going down this path too because it leads us away from the LORD. It is all meaningless, a chasing after the wind…
I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done, and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind (Ecc 2:10-11).
So today, the LORD showed me something true – that the only way to reconcile these two different desires in me, the desire for order and the desire for freedom, is to follow Him very closely. Okay, I know that is probably really obvious! But, for me, head knowledge comes before heart knowledge. While I know, intellectually, that the LORD has the answer to this struggle in me, my heart is learning how to live there, in that in-between-place.
He wants us to have enough order in our days so that we can live our faith with intention. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ (Col 3:23-24). Yet, He wants us to show the flexibility necessary to be responsive to His plans for us. The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps (Prov 16:9).
So, in terms of The Family Workshop, let me show the way this lesson ties into parenting for me. I have been praying about how to better transmit the Christ-centered, biblical worldview to my kids. Today, the LORD gave me a fragment of a Bible verse. It flitted through my thoughts like a smooth stone skips across a pond. It was this: you were bought with a price. And I looked up the rest of it: Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body (1 Cor 6:19-20). And this is something I know I absolutely must share with my kids, in a real way. I know they have heard the verse before, but they need to hear it and see me do it. Because to hear me say it, and not see me live it, means either I am a hypocrite or the Word is not true. The stakes are that high.
But what does it look like, to live like you were bought with a price? And that price was a life. A life for a life. The stakes are that high. It means that the Lord is my master and I must have no other. That means I never have a good reason to complain, because He had it worse. That means I must submit my hopes and dreams and plans to Him, because it is His right to make plans for me and expect me to obey. And it means that when I forget these things I really, really have to repent of it (which means to turn around and go the other way). And if I have “forgotten” these things in front of my children, I have to acknowledge my sin, also in front of my children.
Glorifying God is very humbling, but it should be (how could we do it any other way?). When we set aside pride in ourselves, we acknowledge His ultimate worth, remembering that we were bought with a price. When we wear humility comfortably, not resisting His way, we begin to show a Family resemblance: Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Phil 2:5-8). And this is what we want to pass down from our Father to our children, that Family resemblance.