Thursday, September 10, 2009

Magnificence

I love it when different ideas from different sources all line up and say the same thing to me. Now I know that often, it is where our brain is and how we receive information, but still ... it is cool.

I started a new Bible study today. I really liked it. My friend Denise went with me. Before the class started, she was telling me about a show on the History channel she had seen about King David and how it had disturbed her; how she had never realized how brutal and ruthless he was. And I quipped, "... and yet God used him."

During the Bible study class, the lecturer pointed us to a passage in 2 Samuel where God promises David that he will always keep an heir of David's on his throne (and how this points to Jesus Christ.) I leaned over and whispered to Denise, David was who he was, and yet God made this promise to him because God is who he is.

David was a man after God's own heart; that's what the Bible tells us. At the same time, David was magnificently human.

For as long as I can remember, I have believed the idea that God accepts us just as we are. Yet I am realizing that I used to believe this implied, "... and now get perfect before I lose my patience with you..."

That's just not true. God continues to accept as just as we are. In the midst of being magnificently human, he offers us grace. Isn't that amazing???

I also met with a woman today who is the fundraiser for a local nonprofit. She was talking to me about making a financial contribution to the organization and thinking of ways that I could approach my acquaintances about doing the same.

In the course of our conversation, I shared with her that asking my friends for money makes me uncomfortable, and yet when I am speaking about things for which I am passionate, I just can't stop talking. I can't stop feeling. I can't stop expressing. And the thing I am passionate about expressing is that everyone has value and worth in God's eyes; and that there are so many people who desperately need to be told that message; that God loves them, that they exist, that they matter, that they are important, and for no other reason than because they are on dirt and dirt is not on them.

I think I got to her, because I could see her eyes misting up just a little. I wondered, is there a part of her that also desperately needs to be assured of this?

There is a great deal of freedom in realizing that each of us is magnificently human; and that God loves that magnificence. Being the essence of who I am; being true to myself; being passionate. It is magnificent. And today, through several channels, that message was driven home to me. What can I say? It lit me up. It set me on fire. It made me excited about ... today.

4 comments:

TJ said...

How do you reconcile the grace shown by God to David vs. the punishment God showed over the Bathsheba episode? Was the grace rejected by David, even if only for the moment? Was David's humility and penitence what made him a man after God's own heart?

Tammy said...

Are you referring to the baby dying? I do not receive the baby dying as punishment. Really, God kills an innocent baby to punish David?? Can't he do better than that? David had a LOT of problems with his wives and children. He was not the greatest husband or father. But what was in his heart made hin a man after God's own heart. Jesus says, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for rightesousness, for they shall be filled." NOT those who achieve it; pull it off; but desire it. God never stops offering his grace and it is always independent of anything we do; otherwise it wouldn't be grace... it would be a paycheck.

TJ said...

2 Samuel 12:
11 "This is what the LORD says: 'Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. 12 You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.' "

13 Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD."
Nathan replied, "The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. 14 But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt, the son born to you will die."

To me, it looks like there is a little punishment (I don't think you can simply call it "consequences" when the prophet speaks it), even though is being given AFTER confession and repentence.

Tammy said...

Even if it is punishment, God's grace is a totally separate issue. Again, grace is in spite of our actions. Do you suppose God wanted to take back the promise he made to David in 2 Samuel 7? (...The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom...") No, because God's grace is independent of our behavior. You can't earn it. And if God chooses to show you favor, you can't undo it. Can you show contempt for God's grace? Yes. This seems to be what Nathan is saying. But still God does not remove it, whatever other consequences he may allow.