Tag Archives: Jennie Allen

Being Human

grace abounds

 

“And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.”  So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”  He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.    -John 1:19-23

This was the verse for today in the on-line Bible study I’m doing with IF:Equip.  Check it out and join in, you will be blessed.

Every time I’ve read this passage before it has been about John preparing the way for Jesus.  John wasn’t the point of the story to me.  Jesus was.  And of course, He still is but today for some reason, I was really feeling John.

They kept asking him, WHO ARE YOU?

It made me think of how we go around and ask people that all the time.  Maybe not out loud so blatantly but we try to figure out who people are so we can put them in a box.  We ask others about them, we gather information based on outward signs, we judge, we condemn, we categorize.  We want to know WHO ARE YOU?   But mostly, we want to glean a little more information about who we are by deciding definitively who “they” are.

I was listening to the interview with Kristin Armstrong from the IF:Gathering and I was so moved and inspired by her.  She was talking about her ex-husband (she calls him her “wasband”), Lance Armstrong.  She said that people tried to make him a hero and then they tried to make him a villain.  She explained that neither of those things are true.  He’s just a broken human being like you and me.

Amen.

Grace abounds.

I could go on an on about what a beautiful, graceful, forgiving, inspiring soul I found her to be.  But that would be putting her up on a pedestal.  That would be making her a hero.  I know she wouldn’t want that.  Her grace comes from her humility and her gratitude to God for His faithfulness.  She’s just pointing the way to Him.

We want to make people the hero or the villain because it makes us feel better.  But the truth is no one person is only one thing.  We can’t define people by one moment in time or one bad decision or even years of making bad decisions.  We are all works in progress.  Broken and in need of grace.

I’m going to work on not being attached to definitions of people, to not needing to place people in a box or on a pedestal.  To no longer dismissing or idolizing mere human beings.

Turns out we are all the same anyway.  Muddling through this world trying our best to show up and laugh and love people. It’s interesting how even when we make poor choices and get ourselves in some tough situations, God works with that, loving us through it and showing us the way.  He’s so good.

Grace abounds.

©2014 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big YES™  All Rights Reserved

Be Encouraged!

Image Last week I wrote about how difficult it can be to write honestly when I worry about people’s reactions.  I know that I shouldn’t care about that but I do. I want to be liked.  It’s important to me (sometimes too important) that people are happy and not offended and everyone plays nice together.  Plus, I really like “likes” on Facebook and hits on the blog and I can get wrapped up in numbers and all those outwardly ways we measure our importance.  And then I know better.  I know it’s not about me and I want to share God’s message of hope and love and I want to and need to let Him lead so then I feel guilty and selfish and I feel like I failed.  So there it is. Just laying it out there again in case you missed it.

God responded with these encouragements:

1: Post from Anne Lamott:  “This brings us back to the best riddle of all time. Q: What’s the difference between you and God? A: God NEVER thinks He’s you. So write what’s on your heart, even if your best friends won’t love it. We are in the striving business but God is in the results business, so the exact right people will read/like my book, and yours; and you know what? This is SOOO awful–the other’s won’t.”    (I bolded that sentence myself because it’s SO GOOD and spoke directly to me.  I have to say I was relieved to read that she struggles with these same issues.) Read the whole post here:   https://www.facebook.com/AnneLamott

2: Post from Alisa Keeton with Revelation Wellness:   “Don’t look around to see who is following or listening. Keep looking ahead at the One who is leading you. For all leaders, He has to be enough.”    Read more from her here:  https://www.facebook.com/revelationwell

Isn’t He good?

When we lay our burdens and our shortcomings out on the table, he can transform those things.  We have to admit where we need grace.  First, we have to admit that we need grace at all.

We started a Bible study group at our church this week and it’s called Stuck.  Some people (okay, sometimes me)  don’t want to admit they are stuck or broken.  They don’t see themselves as sinners.  But we have to start there.  We have to admit we are in need of the good news.  The word “Gospel” means good news.  For something to be good news, it has to invade the broken spaces, the not so good spaces, the spaces where we are stuck.

Where are you stuck? Where are you broken?

Some of you may be cringing right now thinking that you are not broken.  Some of you are offended.  You have worked hard to build up your “goodness”, your “perfectness”, your face that you show the world.  Heck, you may have even convinced yourself.  But if we were not broken, if we are not sinners…why would we need a Savior?

For the good news to be “good”, we must need to hear it, right?

I did not experience the transformative power of God’s grace in my life until I admitted that I need it.

Lay it out there.  Speak it.  Write it.  Pray about it.  Bring Light to the ways you are struggling.

He will hear you.  He will respond.  Probably through others who have walked this path and heard His voice and courageously follow His lead.

Be encouraged friends, you are not alone.  We are all in this together and He is good!

©2013 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big YES™ All Rights Reserved