Tolerance. Lines. Budgets. Beliefs. Limits.
I have some throw pillows that are very dear to my heart. They make me happy. They brighten up my living spaces. They are fun to have. (Never mind that the ones on my bed have to be moved every evening.) (Still like them.) I have spent more money on some of them than some people would ever even consider spending. Other people wouldn’t think anything that cheap would be worth their time. Especially since it didn’t come with a designer label. I’ve got a couple that reached the maximum I, myself, would consider spending. But, it’s been worth every dollar, because I still love them. Yet, I do have my limits. My line that I stop at.
When we finished the kitchen in our new-to-us house, we did a little pricing on countertops. We soon had our line drawn on that. It seemed totally ridiculous to spend half-as-much up to even-more than we spent on kitchen cupboards and everything else, for countertops alone. We don’t have marble countertops because,
#1 they are totally out of our budget, and
#2 I think it seems crazy to have that much money in countertops, and
#3 I don’t know if marble is even my thing. Or granite for that matter.
There are other people who can readily afford marble countertops and love them like I love my decorative pillows. There are people out there with marble countertops who give away more money each year than we make. These people have different levels and lines than we do.
The thing I notice about the lines that I draw, is this. It is pretty easy to start judging other people who put their lines in different places than I do. And to keep judging them. While there are some issues that I believe God is very black and white on, there are so many more that He really isn’t.
God has boundaries in His word and they are there to bless our lives and enrich them. He is all-knowing and His lines are for our benefit.
I notice as Christians, we really, really like drawing lines. For several years I’ve watched a lot of line drawing. I’ve drawn some of my own. I’ve applauded some lines because I agreed with them. I’ve had some lines that made me mad. I’ve been hurt by some. I’ve run into some that took me by surprise. I’ve stepped across lines that stirred up bitter feelings inside me that I didn’t even know were there. I also notice that when I draw a line, I want people to agree with me. And I often don’t have tolerance for those who don’t.
I wonder where we’d all be if God had drawn a line with His Law and left it that way. No Savior. No forgiveness. Just law and a demand of perfection.
I’d be so lost. I get so tangled up in myself even with grace covering me.
I don’t have all the answers. And I don’t think God even wants us to come close to thinking we have it all figured out. Especially for other people. The longer I live and strive to grow in Him, the more I am convicted that as Christians, we are writing vastly different stories across this globe. The place and even the lines, God has for me, aren’t going to look like His plan for others.
I like comfortable. I don’t like confrontations. I like things to fall into my tidy view of things.
Something else I’m learning? God likes to move me out of comfortable. And I don’t go easily much of the time.
I think God wants to shake us up sometimes and make us aware and make us question. He wants us depending wholly on Him. He wants us fully trusting in Him.
Not in law or lines.
Me? I’m thankful for this. I’m thankful for the blood of Jesus that has redeemed me and for His Spirit that is alive and working in me. Even when I’m kicking and screaming because I just want comfortable and I want what I call security. Why do I think I’ll find any of this outside of Jesus? Our peace is only in Him, from Him, through Him.
Instruments of Your Peace
By Kirk Dearman and Deby Dearman
Lord make us instruments of Your peace Where there is hatred let Your love increase Lord make us instruments of Your peace Walls of pride and prejudice shall cease When we are Your instruments of peace
Where there is hatred We will show His love Where there is injury We will never judge Where there is striving We will speak His peace To the people crying for release We will be His instruments of peace
Where there is blindness We will pray for sight Where there is darkness We will shine His light Where there is sadness We will bear their grief To the millions crying for release We will be His instruments of peace.