Thursday, April 7, 2011

Which Are You?

2 Timothy 1:7  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 

Great words with a lot behind them  And brought to mind by a link tweeted by a friend of mine.  The link was to an article titled "Consumers or Creators: Being of the World or Being God's People", by S. Michael Craven.  You can read the whole article here: http://www.crosswalk.com/blogs/michael-craven/consumers-or-creators-being-of-the-world-or-being-gods-people.html. Mr Craven made some interesting comparisons.  It basically came down to the "consumer" needing his experiences and self worth validated by external approval, whereas the "creator" draws his validation from within.  Status symbols vs.real need.  Superficial relationships vs. true friendships.  But the point that really spoke to me was that, as Christians, we're called to be "creators" because we are called to bring "shalom" or peace into the world. Craven cites a number of Old Testament verses where the Hebrew word "shalom" is translated as something different than the English word "peace"...because that peace comes from God prospering the believer.

When Mr. Craven talks about the "consumer", he mentions the superficiality.  But it strikes me that what he's describing is immaturity.  An individual who hasn't developed beyond that adolescent "spirit of fear" that goads him to conform because conformity to his peers' norm gives him validation.  Yes, there are boundaries for everything.  But boundaries ought to be for protection, not validation.

The "creator" is an interesting contrast.  Because he's gone beyond the fear and understands who he is.  That gives him the spiritual "power" to contend with whatever his physical situation is.  Which may be great or little prosperity in terms of wealth, but he deals with either extreme (or something in between) with equal finesse. He has received that love from God and is able to share it with others.  And that "sound mind"?  Philippians 4:7   tells us, "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. "  Inner wisdom and strength from a Godly perspective banishes that "spirit of fear". And, yes, Mr. Craven mentions my favorite verse, Matthew 6:33. Because understanding God's view of any situation takes out the fear and gives us a solid inner direction.

Now, to keep things in proper perspective. each of us probably has aspects of both.  But, by hearing from God, through His Word, we can move from the "consumer" end of the spectrum toward the "creator" end.  And the "creator" can be blessed by the Creator.

Have a blessed day.  And don't forget to pray for Libby.

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