I don’t want to call this post a conclusion. To me, conclusion brings the idea of the end a story or the closing of a presentation. But this post is not a conclusion because our desire to live humbly should not end after we read this post; we should clothe ourselves in humility for the duration of our lives.
That being said, this series has lasted several weeks, and I think a summary is in order.
When I worked at Pine Cove, I sometimes felt like an impostor. I listened silently as my peers compared their their family vacations in Italy and France. In stark contrast to their Patagonia shorts, Chacos, and trendy t-shirts that “only cost $20,” I donned my second-hand shorts and free volleyball tees. I came from a world vastly different than that of my coworkers. If America had a caste system, they would be kshatriyas, and I would be sudra.
Yet, the three summers that I spent as a photographer at Pine Cove were the best summers of my life. My coworkers were hospitable, gracious, and selfless. Despite our differences, we worked together to further the Gospel. In my opinion, the collaborative attitude of camp staff perfectly exemplifies the Apostle Paul’s admonition in Romans 12:16 to “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.”
Here are three corny jokes to make you roll your eyes.
Q: Why did the teacher wear sunglasses?
A: Because his class was so bright!
Q: Why were the teacher’s eyes crossed?
A: She couldn’t control her pupils!
Q: How is an English teacher like a judge?
A: They both give out sentences.
In Second Timothy 2:1-7, Paul uses four metaphors to encourage Timothy to stay strong in the faith. The first comparison that Paul makes is to a teacher.
“You should teach people whom you can trust the things you and many others have heard me say. Then they will be able to teach others.”–2 Timothy 2:2
In this verse, we see three things about teachers.
- A teacher must know his students. Paul told Timothy to teach “faithful men.” Paul knew that not everyone would care to learn what Timothy had to say. He did not want Timothy to waste his time trying to teach deaf ears.
- To be a teacher, you must be a diligent student. Timothy could not teach without knowledge, so he learned from Paul for many years before he started teaching. Furthermore, Timothy continued to learn even after he began teaching.
- The teacher’s goal is to train more teachers. Paul knew that he would eventually leave earth and enter heaven. Therefore, he trained Timothy to continue teaching his message. Now, Timothy had to do the exact same thing.
We are not all called to be classroom teachers, but we can all pass on the knowledge that we have. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him.” We must do the same thing–continue learning from everyone we meet so that we can continue teaching everyone we meet.
I recently began expanding my blog’s footprint by joining some social media blog networks. Just a few days after doing so, Julia at A Southern Heart posted that she was looking to partner with other Christian bloggers to share inspirational posts. Within a week, we had made plans to collaborate.
A few weeks ago, I shared this post on Julia’s blog. Now she is returning the favor by posting on mine. Here is what she wrote:
I’ve realized that things in my life are good, but they aren’t great, and definitely aren’t perfect. I’ve been lagging in my relationship with God and putting relationships with others first. This needs to change, and fast. I need to let go of things in the past (even if that past is this morning or afternoon) that are holding me back and move forward to a bigger and greater goal- my journey with God.
- “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 44: 18-19 (NIV)
God is constantly in our lives, whether we see it or not. As we let go of things that are holding us back, we can focus on the more important goal of growing with God.
- “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such views of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.” Philippians 3: 13-16 (NIV)
This verse translated from The Message is SO clear…it’s telling us exactly what to do and how we can stay on track.
- “So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision- you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.” Philippians 3: 15 & 16 (The Message)
God should be our goal, we should want to do everything with Him and for Him. I need Him in my life and I want Him. When things become unclear we have to trust in Him so that He will lead us in the right direction and keep us on track with our goal. But first, we must let go of what is holding us back. It’s not going to be easy to let go; however, with God we can do it.
I am very glad that I found Julia’s blog. We have a lot in common, including a love for Lilly Pulitzer.
This post from her was very encouraging and truthful. Most of us allow things of the past to hinder our present relationship with God, but He can “clear the blurred vision.”
Thanks for sharing, Julia!
Be sure to head over to Julia’s blog and share some love!
It was one of the biggest mysteries of my life, and I am sure you have asked the question too. What is God’s will? What does He desire for me to do? What is His goal for me?
And I must admit, now that I know the answer, I feel more than a little cheated that no one ever told me. Sure, people told me on a regular basis to seek for God’s will. I often prayed to know God’s will. Yet, I made it nineteen years without being told that God’s will is not an esoteric secret for us to discover; it is clearly stated in Scripture.
I grew up hearing sermons based out of Ephesians 5:17 – “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” This is a great command from the Apostle Paul (and he seems to be a pretty smart guy) that each of us should obey. The problem is that no one ever took the time to show me a second use of “will” in another of Paul’s epistles.
I Thessalonians 4:3a – “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification…”
There it was the whole time, clearly stated in Paul’s letter to the church of Thessalonica (see? I told you Paul was smart). All I had to do was look a the cross-reference! God’s will is my sanctification. God’s will is that I would be conformed to the image of His Son. That’s all there is to it!
Our question should not be, “What is God’s will?” Our question should be, “How does God want to make me like His Son?”
Our goal should not be discovering God’s perfect plan. Our goal should be becoming like Christ.
I am no longer seeking God’s will; I am seeking sanctification.