"We are all in the process of becoming who we will eventually be..."
These are the words I used to start my father's eulogy. I was eventually getting to the point that my Dad, though he had a rough start, had turned out to be a pretty amazing man by the time he reached the end of his life. We were blessed to have him around long enough to find out who he eventually ended up to be.
I've been thinking about that alot these last few days. Another quote which I picked up this week from a book called "Fierce Conversations" by Susan Scott says, "You get what you tolerate." The author is empahsizing here that whatever behaviour in our co-workers which we don't want and we don't confront, will never change. We end up getting whatever we ignore. If someone is late all the time, and we don't have a conversation pointing that out, they will continue to be late all the time. People will not tend to change on their own without some kind of confrontation. Whatever you tolerate is what you end up getting.
In Matthew 11, Jesus talked about "taking the Kingdom by violence" and that "the violent take it by force".
Then in Luke 3, He said " The axe is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire." (Luke 3:9, NASB)
Jesus takes our need to change pretty seriously!
I've been thinking about how I need to take some things in my life just that seriously. Whatever I tolerate in myself is what I'm going to get. I really don't want to end up "being" some of the things I am in the process of "becoming" right now.
One of things I need to do is to stop "agreeing" with some of the things in my life that need to change. By that I mean that I say things -mostly to myself - like: "That's just the way I am", or "I get that (name a behaviour) from my grandmother."
Saying that, believing that, makes it okay to keep tolerating. It's not my fault, after all. It's hereditary.
The fact is that Jesus has given us everything we need to become like him. 2 Peter 3, says:
3His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires." (NASB)
That's my challenge for today. To stop tolerating that in myself which God wants confronted and changed. To take the Kingdom (in my life) by violence...
It's a big order, true. And I'm not up for the challenge. But God is. And I'm leaning hard into Him.