Thursday, June 08, 2006

Changing Rooms or Changing Lives?

I have recently been doing some DIY type stuff. Mainly tiling in my kitchen at the moment. Boring I hear you say................................. 'boring' - (thank you!) However it is whilst I am doing those kinds of things that God tends to point things out to me and last week He did just that.

We have just had our Kitchen and bathroom replaced, hence the DIY. Whilst I was tiling I realised I was covering over some very ropey walls with nice new tiles. Also you fill holes and then paint over them. The end product looks all new and clean and you look on it with some pride at what you have achieved. You then welcome visitors to see your nice new look!

But it is all skin deep! The paint has covered over filler and cracks, the tiles cover over the dodgy wall underneath. Take it all off and you are still left with grey plaster, old paint etc... This is exactly what we do with our lives. Often DIY can be a way of making surface changes to cover over how we feel underneath as people. We re-arrange our lives quite regularly, new job, new clothes, new look, new car etc... In the church we can be guilty of doing the same thing except we dress it up in spiritual language. What spiritual gifts can I get this week, what new fad can we get involved with this year. I am not saying at all that this is always the case or that individual giftings are always used this way. But the church and church members are not immune by any stretch.

All these things are designed to take our focus away from what is underneath. Often we feel unlovely, unloved, hopeless, unacceptable, dirty etc... underneath the surface of our lives. By doing the above changes it helps us not feel those things. I Corinthians 13 is possibly the greatest description of Love ever put on paper. The first 3 verses describe having everything but without love it is all for nothing. Now what God said to me in that was that those verses do not just mean doing those things described with love as is commonly interpreted. It also means that we must firstly have God's love rooted in our hearts from which we can then do those things in love.

If we focused more attention on learning who we are before God and how much His Love for us has the power to change us inside out we would spend less time focusing on covering over and redecorating the surface of our lives. We would also be in a position to actually look at what is under the surface with the confidence that it won't overwhelm us knowing that God is right there with us holding us in His arms!

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