I have always loved planting flowers. Playing in the dirt for hours. It’s very uplifting and to sound cliché therapeutic. I have found that the busier I get, the less time I have to do it. And I yearn for that little bit of freedom. Now days if I have a plant, and it’s not a cactus it tends to go through a sort of depression period. Mostly because I forget to give it the basic need of water. I promise you when it rains, all my little pots are out in the yard! They probably cringe when the rain stops and they see me coming. I will work on it.
So I mostly plant begonias. They are beautiful, colorful, and tough enough to withstand me! Or at least withstand the lack of me so to speak.
We have been studying the book of James at church this summer and I have to say I have never felt more convicted and blessed at the same time. I know what I have to work on, and I know that I can’t make others work on their flaws. It sucks to sit and force yourself to acknowledge to God your flaws. It even sucks to know what someone else’s flaws are and see them completely blind to them. I have realized they are not really blind. They are in denial because they would have to admit they are not as perfect as they make themselves out to be. (Yes we can be unaware of flaws we have too) And it would require effort to change. The hardest part is trying to focus on your own self and not others. God already knows your weaknesses and the other person’s as well. But to ask for forgiveness is a completely different emotion. I have done so much growing recently, and I have so much more to go.
This past Sunday we talked about seeds. Johnny Appleseed and Olive Orange. ( I just named the orange. I hope you caught it.) Some people plant flowers, others grow children. Some plant trees, others plant hearts. Pastor Chris Medley touched on so many things it would take me multiple posts. Maybe I will. Okay I will try. Please be patient.
Let us summarize briefly. James 3:13-18. I like The Message translation.
Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts. Mean-spirited ambition isn’t wisdom. Twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn’t wisdom-it’s animal cunning, devilish conniving. Whenever you’re trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others’ throats. Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gently and We reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other with dignity and honor.
Let’s be honest-that was painful. We have all at sometime or multiple times in our lives been mean-spirited and selfish. We have all had moments of ego. We have all looked in the mirror, known we screwed up, and chose not to face it. Because we don’t like to be wrong. We don’t like to look less than perfect. Only Jesus was perfect. It’s unattainable for us humans. We may think we are but we are so wrong.
So we learned that there are two types of wisdom. Earthly and Godly. Pastor Chris helped us group them together pretty obviously.
Seeds of Earthly Wisdom are being bitter, having envy, selfish ambition, pride/boasting, being deceitful, being unspiritual, and being demonic.
Seeds of Godly Wisdom are being pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive(easy to get along with), merciful, impartial, and sincere.
In short, plant seeds of earthly wisdom and your fruit will be disorder and evil. Plant seeds of Godly wisdom and bear fruit of peace and righteousness. So, let’s be real with ourselves. We can see in these where we have all planted seeds of earthly wisdom. It really just hurt me to realize it-like a slap in the face. I’m pretty sure I cried the rest of the service. I wish I could un-plant those horrible seeds I didn’t even know I was watering. But I can’t. I can however stop watering them. I can continue watering and planting more seeds of Godly wisdom. The one word that comes to my mind in all of this is HUMILITY.
HUMILITY – a modest or low view of one’s own importance, humbleness
Apple seeds make apples trees-Orange seeds do not produce bananas. We are not talking about fruit though. The seeds you plant in your life, in other’s lives are what you produce yourself and what you help produce in someone else’s.
So much more to come! It’s so much to absorb. Open your mind. Actually, open your heart. One of my favorite things Pastor Chris said this past Sunday was, “It’s not a behavior issue, it’s a heart issue.”