Monday, September 04, 2006

further

Isaiah 1:15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; 16 wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, 17 Learn to do what is right! Promote justice! Give the oppressed reason to celebrate!Take up the cause of the orphan! Defend the rights of the widow i dont think that God appreciates hands full of blood. even if it is our own. i agree with grace that our lives seem to involve too much indulgence, too mush self-pleasing, and that that is not positive, that is not God's will, but i don't FEEL like the burnt offerings of self are getting me any closer. i've been thinking about isaac. i bet his relationship with his dad kinda went downhill after the whole "i am willing to sacrifice you to my god" deal. but i don't know. isaac seems torn up after his mom dies, but there isn'treally any recorded words between him and his father after "so, dad, we have wood and matches, but where is the lamb?"...but this is all old testament. i know people who don't want to sacrifice, their friendships, their habits, their securities, and they stagnate. i know that selfishness rots the inside. but what about those burnt out...who give too much, who are too available to others, they suffer their dwindling resources in the name of something higher...but they burn out. maybe i am asking the wrong quesitons.

5 comments:

katie said...

i'll comment later, i'm too stupid right now. probably from all the snot in my brain

Jerry said...

Three questions that I read about once, that might help:

1) If I am not for myself, who is for me?

2) But if I am only for myself, what am I?

3) And if not now, when?

The idea behind the three questions is to try and find a balance between taking care of yourself, and taking care of others. If you are only for yourself, you are a parasite on the world. But, if you are only for others, the enormity of the task will destroy you. You have to find a middle ground, to preserve yourself so you can help others.

Or, in other words, in order to take care of others, you need to take care of yourself first.

There is a time when you have to put it all on the line -- but, you need to be very sure that that the commitment is worth it.

Good luck, I hope it all works out; and that you find whatever balance you're looking for.

JGH

Polythene Pam said...

I don't think it's a matter to right or wrong questions, I think it's a matter of being brave enough to actually ask them. And you are. And you're making progress. And you're looking in your bible! And so for this I am glad. I will pray that the Lord will give you insight into these matters or that he will bring your heart to rest in his enormous provision. That you won't just figure it out cognitively, but more so, internally. If you know what I mean. Love you.

Kent said...

Bethany,

The more answers I get, the more questions I have. I think it will keep me busy for eternity, but I won't stress over it in the next life.

Kent

Christiane said...

This is something that I have been thinking and learning about this summer too. And I think that I have come to the conclusion that the Lord wants us to spend more time on ourselves than we think. Now, don't get me wrong...we are NOT to be centered on self and I don't mean that by any stretch of the imagination. But, Christ Himself (I'm working on a study on this at the moment) identified Himself SOLEY in the Lord. His entire identity was centered on God Himself (check out His prayer in John 17:1-10...). "That would make sence, one might say, since He IS God"...but, we too, as children of the King and Co-heirs with Christ must realize our identity to be SOLEY in HIM aswell.

I say all this to make what I think is the point :)...if our identity is in Him alone, we must be WITH Him and His Spirit--day in, day out--moment by moment (although the learning curve and process is huge!). I would imagine (in theory...) that if one is spending adequate quality time being replentished and focusing on HIM more than the trials and stuggles of this world...but focused on His face and glory only...it wouldn't be possible to burn out. Even Jesus took time to "run away" from the crowds and spend time with the Father, re-focusing His identity and purpose and glorifying the Father (our #1 purpose on earth)...and He was perfect. He must increase...we must decrease. And we all know that HE doesn't burn out.

Just some thoughts :) I have an article that gave me some perspective...I'll email it to you Beth-let me know what you think :)

Christiane :)
-sorry I took up so much space! :P