A Cup Of Who I Am?

19 08 2010

Strange, the things you remember. When I was around 10 years old my family made a trip to California to go to Disneyland. I hardly recall anything about the trip (except, “It’s a Small World,” for obvious reasons), but I do remember staying somewhere along the way at a little motel with a pool.

We had driven a long, long way that day in a very small car and when dad pulled up to the motel and it had a sign that said “Heated Outdoor Pool,” that was (to quote Seinfeld) “Gold, Jerry; gold!” We couldn’t get the suitcases into the room fast enough! I ripped through mine, found the suit, and was out like lightening to the pool’s edge where I stopped short. The pool was completely green; not just a shade green, it was unmistakably, thick-and-rich, pea green; a soup-bowl only the Jolly Green Giant could appreciate.

Imagine my disappointment! I couldn’t believe it. I dragged my feet (a special ability kids have) back to the room and lay on the floor, on my back, in my swimsuit, staring unresponsively at the ceiling. I thought bad thoughts about the management. How could anyone let something so good, so beautiful, so refreshing, go? The pool was right there, it was once a place of unparalleled joy, and now it was a cesspool.

Proverbs 25:26 is telling me to hang onto that image because, “If the godly give in to the wicked, it’s like polluting a fountain or muddying a spring.” The idea of “giving in” is to totter, slip, to be dislodged or to let something fall; to be shaken so as to be overthrown.

That could happen to me.  I could be someone who was once a refreshing presence to others, but I could totter, slip, be dislodged; I could let something fall; I could be shaken up so that I end up many, many shades away from who I want to be.

God loves everyone, but that doesn’t mean everyone is living in a way that God loves. There is something called “wicked.” There are things that make God wince and sigh and shake His head. There really are things that anger Him. If I could ask God to not be angry, would I? Never! I am glad that God, who made me, has standards. I am glad that His goodness is 100% good without anything I need to overlook. I am glad this means He doesn’t overlook things in me either; and it makes it a gigantic relief that Jesus died for my wickedness, taking my sins, though they were like scarlet, making my heart as white as snow (Isaiah 1:18).

What is so awful is when you take a redeemed child of God, someone forgiven, someone who has been made new by the love of God and somewhere along the way they begin to choose “wicked” over good. Proverbs 26:11 has the best description of this: “As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness.” It is unthinkable that someone who understands the word “saved” in terms of what Jesus has done for us would now go back to what they were before. This is like filling a sweet, clear spring with mud.

Can’t imagine doing that? It happens all the time. Sometimes it is a dramatic fall; an obvious big step between what a person knows is right and something that is clearly and obviously wrong.  Usually, it looks like someone teetering on the edge between what is good and godly and what is wicked. Usually it involves little compromises. Most often wicked creeps up, like a little spot of green at the bottom of a pool.

As I am writing, I realize it would be easy to deflect this topic.  I could read and write this and think, “Be careful, don’t do anything bad.”  But here is what is also wicked: a lack of gentleness, unkindness, unforgiveness, bitterness, stubbornness, gossip, selfishness, self-righteousness, judgement; all of these things darken the waters. All of these things make me an unrefreshing presence.

This summer Josh, who drinks A LOT of milk, was not around; so the milk sat in the fridge a little too long. I grabbed the jug one day and poured myself a glass and took a big drink, assuming the best.  It was not. I had anticipated that cold wonderfulness and instead I got something extremely distasteful.

What do people anticipate when they walk up to me? Do they expect one thing and get another? Green and unmaintained instead of cool and clear; sour instead of nutritious and thirst-quenching?

At any moment, in any place, Jesus asks His followers to be a refreshing presence to others. I guess the question I am left with today is, can I take a cup of who I am and offer it to someone, freely and without checking first?

— Teresa Klassen

Afterword: This is the only book I have read by Beth Moore and I have to say that it covered this topic excellently.

Canada: WHEN GODLY PEOPLE DO UNGODLY THINGS: Finding Authentic Restoration in the Age of Seduction

U.S.: When Godly People Do Ungodly Things: Arming Yourself in the Age of Seduction

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19 08 2010
Tweets that mention A Cup Of Who I Am? « OneBrownLeaf -- Topsy.com

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Teresa Klassen, Teresa Klassen. Teresa Klassen said: A Cup Of Who I Am?: http://t.co/A4R7sQQ […]

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