worth the search…

photo by dave hiebert

“an excellent wife, who can find?  for her worth is far above jewels.” –proverbs 31:1

i find it interesting
when single friends
talk about the search for the perfect person.

it is not the conversation that gets me.
it is that the conversation consistently focuses
on the other person.
what the other person needs to be,
needs to think,
needs to provide.
their qualities,
ambitions (or lack thereof),
and their appeal.

it’s all about the requirements of the other person.
very, very few conversations
revolve around the requirements
of the person talking.

but these conversations aren’t limited to the search for a spouse.  these conversations happen in every pew, every workplace, every Bible study, every time there is more than one person in a situation.

we point away from ourselves.  but here is the question: are you the type of person that person is looking for?  If you are a Christian man demanding that your woman be a “proverbs 31 woman,” are

you the kind of man a proverbs 31 woman would be interested in?  Even more, are you strong enough to handle that kind of woman?  Take a hard look at that chapter before you go declaring your demands.

Are you an employee demanding certain characteristics that should be in your boss?  The question is, are you the kind of employee that boss would be looking for?

do you have certain requirements that your pastor should fulfill?  You probably should.  But you should probably ask yourself if you are the kind of congregant that would be happy in that pastor’s church.  If you demand that your pastor pull no punches in uncovering sin in others, can you handle that same pull-no-punches approach if he has to approach you?

this is the struggle.  we know what a good life should look like.  we see what a good woman, a good man, a good boss, a good pastor, and so on, should look like.  this is not the problem.  the problem is when we forget that we are part of the interaction too.

we point away from ourselves, scared of what we might find if we took that same magnifying glass we have put on others and turned it toward ourselves.

well kids, the time for fear is over.

“for God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.”  –2 Timothy 1:7

it is uncomfortable to take all those requirements we slather on other people and start applying them to our own lives.

it can be painful to start to see the ways in which our own behavior may have influenced the other person to behave in the very way we despise.

and it can be, frankly, icky to realize that we have been going through life with a double-standard.  we have demanded perfection from others and demanded grace and understand for ourselves.

the time for that is over.

if you want a vibrant, full, honest life,
it is time to truly
take the standard by which you judge others
and apply it to yourself.

set aside the fear of what you might find
and start to take a good look at yourself.

with God’s perspective, you will see
that He loves you
with all your flaws,
with all your foibles,
and even with all your judgments.

with God’s perspective,
you will begin to feel
the grace abounding from His heart,
and you will begin to be able
to overflow that grace
on others.

this is not to say there should not be standards in our relationships.
this is only to say that those standards should be equally applied to even you.
and even then,
the grace of God
loves you through so much.

no longer be afraid of what you will find.
take a look,
and what you will truly find
is the freedom
you so deeply, desperately
desire.

2 Comments on “worth the search…

  1. I was reading Luke the other day and I came across the golden rule (Luke 6:31). It’s funny that I learned it so long ago and it seems like a naive Sunday School answer.

    Yet, when you read it, it jumps out in it’s simplicity. Can it be the simple? Yeah, it can.

    I guess it’s time to get back to the basics from Sunday school.

    (PS: Love the picture, is there a link to credit the source?)

    • i get my pics from http://www.sxc.hu/ it’s a great open-source, royalty-free place for stock photos that can be used for non-profit purposes.

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