Monday, November 21, 2011

the change list

Today’s exercise: reflect on the things you would like to see changed about yourself. (To which Chief Brody replied, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”) Anyways….

1. UNDERSTANDING
I get defensive when someone questions or critiques me. Jesus, on the other hand, sought out questioning. He approached those he knew would critique and went to places where he knew his authority would be questioned. Why do I get so defensive?

In doing so, I miss out on opportunities to gain new understanding, to improve myself, and to enlighten others on new possibilities. I close the door on conversations and the chance to build relationships.

Lord, make it clear in my heart that it’s not about me. Free me from my need to control outcomes and have the last say. Open my heart to criticism. Let me seek joy only in your pleasure.

2. FEELINGS
I can easily get caught up in whatever I am doing at the time, and fail to see and hear the cries for help around me. Jesus was observant and always in touch with his surroundings. Why is it that I can so easily shut off the world?

Instead of lifting others up, I pull them down by my appearance of disinterest. And then wonder when they are not there to listen for me.

O God, help me surrender to others. Open my eyes, me ears and my heart to the needs of others. Teach me to prioritize others before myself.

3. DECISIONS
I often do not think about God and the Kingdom when making decisions. For Jesus, every decision was an opportunity to glorify God. Why do I leave God out of the picture so often?

When I eventually come to my Lord, the truth stings—and whatever I gained by going my way, it cost more to return to the path that was intended for me.

At the crossroads of life, there is only one direction I need, Lord, and that is your will. I want you to be at the center of my life—for every moment of every day.

4. INPUT
I like to be entertained. TV. Movies. Books. I look for ways to escape. Jesus was comfortable with silence and solitude. He created time to be alone. For meditation. For prayer. Why do I need to constantly want to fill the vacuum with noise?

Entertainment cannot love, and so I go unloved. Entertainment cannot fulfill, and so I go unfulfilled. Alone when the TV goes on, alone when it goes off.

Jesus, teach me to live in the present, prioritize people, and rejoice in your peace. Help me become more disciplined—where I come before you in prayer, meditation and silence for the pure joy of basking in your presence.

5. CHARACTER
I am not always the same person in public as I am when I am alone. I have secrets. I live two lives. The life of the nice guy. The life of the self-gratifying jerk. Jesus was authentic. He was Jesus. Why can’t I be the me I want to be?

Shame. Disgrace. Anger. Fear. These are not how I would feel if I was being the true me.

Let the one true authentic me be the one and only me. Help me live in the light. Crush and destroy the sin and disobedience in my life.


Change me Lord. Change me from the inside out.

1 comment:

Kansas Bob said...

"Entertainment cannot love, and so I go unloved."

Great observation Ed. And a very nice post.