Jesus made LOTS of decisions that left other people scratching their heads: he rejected the Pharisees’ and Saducees’ superficial notions of perfection and the Law, and spent his time reaching out to the flawed, good people that God brought into his path: the tax collectors, the poor, the huddled masses, the fishermen (the blue collar workers of that day!) – some of whom became his disciples, also the diseased and homeless. But he also lived in truth, and spoke truth to those who had lost themselves in sin (anything that separates us from our heavenly Father), in corruption, even into demon possession. He came that we might have everlasting life, and live in Heaven with his Father forever, and that our lives might have the fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22). He lived the life that his Father had intended for him, from the very moment that he was conceived.
Life is a series of decisions. Who to spend time with, how to spend money, and reminding yourself to practice compassion – DAILY – and be gentle with yourself, your spouse, your children, others – anyone that is brought into your path. The “old” self could believe others’ assessment of her by making decisions based on guilt, shame, or what others wanted for her. The New Self stands firmly on discernment (this intuition often comes in flashes of inspiration and truth – if a person is toxic for you, you are an adult, and you are able to choose to not to spend time with them); healthy boundaries; compassion expressed through action and prayer; and a solid foundation of Biblical truth: a good person will SHOW that they are good through their words, actions, and interactions.
So, a good person is not a Perfect person, but one who learns lessons daily, adjusts herself accordingly, and operates from compassion but also from truth. Something that another person is called to may not be something that I, myself, am called to. Their personal mission will not be my mission. All I can be is who I am MEANT to be, and the moment that I step away from that personal path, the discomfort that I experience from being on someone else’s path should lead me right back to the home that God intended for me.
This New Year, may I be the person God designed me to be. May YOU be the person God designed you to be! And may we both respect that our paths are our own, and that we are not products of our circumstances, but products of our decisions.
Can I get an “AMEN”?? 😉