Consider: The Blameless

26 07 2010

Part Two of “Consider This.”

I woke up this morning, thinking about things I admire in people and that lends itself well to this morning’s musings. A short list of things I have observed in people and admire:

  • I admire graciousness
  • I admire mercy
  • I admire simple courtesy
  • I admire a person who can both serve others and still hold their own
  • I admire people who choose joy and live joyfully
  • I admire sacrifice
  • I admire people who make right but difficult choices
  • I admire loyalty
  • I admire people who conquer something (their own personal Mt. Everest)
  • I admire people who extend themselves to others (hospitality)
  • I admire people who love and serve God without the jargon
  • I admire creativity and creative approaches to things
  • I admire people who are not easily annoyed and can smile at inconvenience and people’s little mistakes

Not a complete list, but when I see these things in action, something in me perks up and takes notice. What is it about that person? Why are they the way they are and how did they get there? How did they abandon a more selfish approach to life so that this quality comes so naturally to them?

I don’t want to compare myself to these kinds of people in an envious kind of way, although sometimes I do envy. Sometimes I am frustrated with myself and when it seems the thing I desire is so hard to attain I wish I was more like them. But that is on a self-pity day. On a good day I do compare myself to them in an evaluative way and with a sense of desire that I might also grow, knowing they are steps ahead of me.

There is a healthy approach to considering the lives of others. Psalm 37:37 says,

Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is a future for the man of peace” (NIV).

Put another way, “Take note of the one who has integrity! Observe the godly. For the one who promotes peace has a future.”

This passage is saying don’t just glance at a person worth admiring; take a good hard look at their life; ask questions. What do they have that you want; try to figure out what allows them to be that way.  Why are they leading an admirable life? What has shaped their morals and values? Why are they able to have healthy relationships? Why are they content? What is going on between them and God? Why are they peaceful? Look intently at this.

Isn’t it interesting that the Bible chooses to say that we ought to pay special attention to those who promote peace? That’s worth asking yourself a few questions over.

I think the Bible would say, don’t just search others, let yourself be searched. Psalm 139 is an invitation to God to come and run an analysis. The beautiful thing about this, from my experience, is that the Holy Spirit doesn’t check you out and leave you with a 100 things you might consider changing. His ways are loving and His timing is perfect and He usually points out the one thing He knows you are ready and able to work on.

Once we know, once we have in our hand a little piece of helpful information, we would be wise to implement those things because that person has a future and so will you; that person’s life will be memorable and so will yours.

Generally, I don’t think people do a very good job of this. There is a difference between being curious about a person’s life and taking that curiosity to another level where you actually make a mental note of something you have heard and have admired; there is another level still where you take that note out and meditate on that thing, juice it, so to speak.

How many times have I written something down and not gone back to it? It is like the grocery list I keep leaving at home on the counter; what good does it do me there?

There are some things I want to leave behind and there are some things I really want to pursue. I really hope that some of these things I will figure out before I am 80, leaving room for things I have not yet thought of. I hope I do change along the way; I hope I really am “more” the person God has designed me to be and not stuck with being stuck.

Who is future me?

— Teresa Klassen

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