Monday, July 27, 2015

Repost: Lesson in 30 Percent....

I was thinking about this post the other day and just wanted to repost it...

Did you know that when you watch a movie in full screen format instead of wide screen format, only 70% of what the original director intended is seen? I learned this fact from "Exercising You Soul" by Gary Jansen.

It got me to thinking what is my missing 30%. Am I seeing the whole picture?

My (notice the wording of "my" here) intent for this post was to expound on how we don't see the whole picture. The importance of trusting God when things seem...well "weird", "unfinished", etc.

It was going to be an awesome post. I was going to reference all of the wonderful illustrations, about how we only see one small piece of what God is doing. Whereas, He sees the whole picture: the finished product. You know the illustrations and stories. It was going to be a great post. One which would receive nice comments and loads of "Atta Girls." Do people even truly say, "Atta Girl?"

Seeing 100% of the Picture
Photo Credit: Dew Photography
Then God, my loving Father stepped in and turned "HIS" blog upside down. 

He taught me a totally different lesson. He instead taught me at times we have the whole picture, but He wants us to focus on a small portion. He wants us to focus on 30%. It is not that we are to forget the other 70%. Yet, He wants to teach us something profound with the 30%.

I freely admit to being one of His slow children.
Therefore, this lesson came in a process of weeks instead of a minute or even an hour.

Finding Beauty in Seeing Only 30%
Photo Credit: Dew Photography
My journey started in Philippians. A smaller book compared to others in the Bible. Yet, I have been reading one verse, truthfully around one verse for well over a month now during quiet time. No matter where I start, this particular verse is where I end up.

"What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice" Philippians 1:18

What then? Is exactly what I keep saying? Does this scripture say what I think it does? couldn't be saying that. I must not be seeing the whole picture. Must of read it out of context. Paul could not be saying to rejoice no matter what someone's motives are as long as Christ is preached. 

Photo Credit: Google Images
Here it is for you in a few other translations:

"So how am I to respond? I've decided that I really don't care about their motives, whether mixed, bad, or indifferent. Every time one of them opens his mouth, Christ is proclaimed, so I just cheer them on!" The Message

"What then ? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed ; and in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice," NASB

"What do I think about this? Just this: since Christ is proclaimed in every possible way, whether from dishonest or true motives, I'm glad and I'll continue to be glad" CEB (Common English Bible)

After looking in multiple translations, Paul is saying exactly what what I thought:

No matter the motives or pretense behind a person's actions or preachings
 if Christ is preached; rejoice.

I don't know about you, but for me this is a hard pill to swallow. When I see someone who has ulterior motives, I don't want to rejoice. I want to point out their motives. Don't they need to be exposed for who they truly are? Aren't they hurting the work of the Lord? What about leading "lambs", those younger in their faith astray? 

Here is the BIG OUCH...

Photo Credit: Google Images
God says here to rejoice when Christ is preached...PERIOD. 
 Trust Him. There it is...we don't see the whole picture. :-)

Paul didn't tell the Philippians, 

"Make sure you each go out there and expose each of them preaching with ulterior motives. All of those out there who are speaking out of envy and strife, straighten them out. Those who want to further my afflictions and imprisonment. Expose them." 

Instead, He tells them focus on Christ and rejoice when Christ is preached, no matter the motive. 

As we each journey in ministry, it is a good thing to remember Paul's words to the Philippians because:  

1. We will have others who will speak envy and strife about us as we continue to minister for God. 
2. If we consistently point out others ulterior motives, people will think we are envious and speaking with ulterior motives.

Now, it is your turn...

Was this as hard of a pill to swallow for you as it was for me? 

I love dialoguing and connecting with each of you. 
I encourage comments and dialogue with each of my posts.