"Christians should know better than this; God doesn't judge one person against another, he doesn't grade on a curve. Yet we find it desperately hard to believe that we're really truly sinners, because we see people so much worse than us every day in the newspaper. In comparison to them, we're just so gosh-darn nice." ~ Frederica Mathewes-Green
I think this is true for all of us. Rather than humbly looking in the mirror and seeing ourselves as the sinners we truly are, we attempt to visually better ourselves by comparing ourselves to others around us rather than to our Holy God. It's easier to look at the paper and read an article about a murderer and think, "Well I haven't done anything that bad" and thereby make ourselves less of a sinner. We walk down the street and hear a group of not so pleasing to the eye men (you know, the ones with their undergarments sticking out, gold chains hanging, dangling earrings, and holding the liquor bottles) swearing up a storm and think, "Well, at least I don't act like that!" Even in our own homes - we judge a spouse by something they have or have not done and think..."Hmpf... I never did that to them." Does all of this judging of others make us less of a sinner? The fact that we haven't killed, sworn while holding a liquor bottle on a street corner, done a particular thing that our spouse has done to us, become a terrorist or we don't stay home from church every Sunday - does this make us less of a sinner than everyone else?
We must stop comparing ourselves to other humans. We must stop judging them and begin to judge our own sins- leading us to true repentance. Once we stop judging and decide it is God that we must compare ourselves to and be repentful for our sins, we can approach Him and acquire an illumined heart. As Fredrica continues to write, "Once we really decide that it is God Himself we want to approach, repentance comes to feel like a clarifying, tough- minded friend."
I was reading a friend's blog post the other day. It was about Frederica Mathewes-Green. Frederica Mathewes-Green is a popular Orthodox Christian writer. She also writes for Beliefnet, Christianity Today, and NPR's All Things Considered among others. She describes herself as a "women's libber" and "mother-earth hippie" turned pro-life activist and Orthodox Christian. I have read and loved many of Frederica's books. The one I quoted from, above, is titled The Illumined Heart; Capture The Vibrant Faith of Ancient Christians. It's a small book - only 102 pocket-size pages....so if you are into short and easy to read books but full of deep meaning, this is the one to read! I find her books captivating and highly informative without being overwhelming to myself as a overtired mamma who just can't always absorb materials written by those (however amazing) high thinkers who frankly, just go right over my head sometimes! LOL
The following is a link to my friend's blog post. This post talks about Frederica Mathewes-Green and her current project. I hope you will take a moment to read the post and watch the video about the documentary that is being attempted. It would be a wonderful project if they are able to raise the funds in time! http://deepinthestax.blogspot.com/2014/01/frederica-life-and-work-of-frederica.html
Once there, click on the link to the documentary. It should lead you here.
If you care to listen to a podcast on Ancient Faith Radio by Frederica, you can do that here.
Find your way to an illumined heart and enjoy your day 🙂
Random Thoughts On A Saturday:
- Shouldn't all librarians know when the ALA awards have been announced and what the Caldecott winner is? (shaking head)
- If you are a writer and don't already know it, you can find very valuable information and insight at Kristin Lamb's blog - check it out if you haven't already done so!
- Erich Fromm wrote in The At of Loving that children have two needs: milk and honey (from their parents) - the milk meaning care to their physical needs and the honey being the sweetness of life and the things that make life enjoyable.
- Hot chocolate is a necessity in life...really, it is 😉
- I'm told I need to prioritize things in life....the things I want to do and figure out what can I let go of? Let go?? How does one do that? Sigh... I just want balance.
- Today's post is #150 ! 🙂