In my last blog ("Pouring Footers"
) I opened with some stuff about building walls around me while the Lord laid the foundation of faith within me. I should have fleshed this out a bit more, but it wasn't the point of that blog. So I'll do it here. I think a lot of people go through this when they have a spiritual transformation. They put up walls around them, to protect themselves. Like the walls around a construction site they aren't pretty but serve a purpose. I wasn't mature enough to process my faith without these barriers. It was the most dramatic change in my life and in the process I blocked out a lot of things. While some of this was for the better, other things (and people) suffered unnecessarily. My relocation was a part of this wall. Even some of these blog posts have been a part also.
Barriers are useful in keeping out the bad, and because of this I needed them. But barriers also keep out the good and valuable. Unfortunately the same barrier might end up doing both. What I realize now is that the nature and presence of these barriers depended more on me rather than anything that I kept out.
"But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man." Matthew 15:18
When I look upon these walls around me I end up only seeing my reflection. If I am more comfortable and confident with where I stand then walls become unnecessary.
Some people handle their transformation better than others. I could have handled mine better. I try to be delicate (most of the time) but I often end up being the elephant in a fine china shop. It's hard to be sensitive sometimes.
Another effect of these walls was that I was often tempted to pass judgment. I tried to use the context of the Christian faith as my measuring stick, but many times I wielded the stick inappropriately. Oftentimes I failed to discern wisely, leaving only scorched earth behind me.
The only thing I can really say in my defense is that I came into my relationship with Christ weak. These weaknesses required the presence of these walls, and in many ways built them up. I used to think of them as strengths. Pride, intellect, will etc... the list is all too familiar. These weaknesses and the wounds caused by them ironically could only be healed by Christ. If not for Him, sooner or later they would have destroyed everything important to me.
So I'm trying to overcome these walls and bring myself further out into the open. Not in order to embrace anything evil, but to be able to wisely tell the difference. Some understand me; some resent me; some a little of both and some simply just don't care. I have to live with these facts. More than anything though I know the change must still come from within. It is the inward journey that will benefit me and those around me most.
I think this might be one of the hardest lessons for the Christian to learn. Just because I believe that it's God's preference, or that the Bible/church backs me up, it doesn't always mean that it's God's truth. Obedience and fear or insecurity can be confused. Jesus wants me to be seen and to see myself as honestly as possible. I'm afraid to let Him, but I don't think I have any choice. It's the process of a lifetime.
Of all the blogs I've written up until now, maybe this one speaks the most truth, at least on a personal level. So I guess I'm heading in the right direction.
"For we walk by faith, not by sight" 2Corinthians 5:7