We used to live in a huge bungalow when we initially shifted to Pune. I remember inviting people to our home telling them that we have an extra bedroom and a parking space please come home..! While the statement sounded pleasant and harmless we realized later that there was a subtle pride in that..! It was only pride because when we shifted to a much smaller apartment approximately 600 square feet and though we still had a spare bedroom yet we did not make such a statement.. Why? Sometimes we need to judge ourselves brutally.. Yes judgment to self has to be brutal!!
We did repent as a couple and tried to mend our ways. Some of the questions we ask ourselves often are – Are we ashamed to travel by train and use flight or car everywhere we go…? Have we the guts to say – ‘No’ if something is beyond our boundaries by stating the reason for it rather than finding an excuse by simple saying – the grapes are sour!! Are we ashamed to wear casual cotton clothes when we go out? Are we ashamed to serve vegetarian food to our guests? Are we ashamed to pack our food from home rather than eat somewhere outside? Are we giving others the impression of a life that’s beyond the actual boundary we are living in just to please others? To be honest from my experience, the God fearing families who have been given bigger financial boundaries are the ones who are most easy going!! They are so easy to move around with. There is no ‘chee or ayo’ talks about the things we offer them. They are willing to enjoy simplicity. It’s amazing to see how God has been preserving them.
I have often written it down that the things we mention the most are the things we battle the most. I often laugh it out to my husband that those who constantly speak about how and what women should wear, how much they should cover etc etc are the ones struggling with keeping their eyes pure and holy. They are struggling and being tempted by what people wear. Yes, it’s perfectly OK to be honest about our struggles as long as we call it by the right name – I am tempted when women dress appropriately. The same applies to what I have been writing down here. I have battled and struggled in this area of boasting and as and when God gives us light we are seeking His grace to be free from this spirit of boasting that comes from pride. I know very well how I used to feel nice when my fruit basket was full of fruits just before having a guest at home. This day I am utterly ashamed of this peel of sinfulness in my life. This is just an example. We all struggle with that a lot.. Are we ashamed of posting pics of our homes that’s so normal – the messy part of it 😉 or are we only interested to give a clean and neat background of a park or a restaurant to our pictures..!! Have we ever thought about it? We might be doing things without realizing that we all wish to have an image of ourselves that’s most acceptable by the world and others seeing that do a little more and so the cycle goes on… Only raising the standard of hypocrisy in our lives.
Jesus told his disciples.. Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head. Are we honest about ourselves…! This doesn’t mean we become a sanyasi wear dhoti and settle in a hut yet if hut is the boundary God has given us.. I believe it’s godliness to be content be it hut or mansion. If the Lord has provided for us much more than the people around us… We need to be content with it yet by no means boast about it. Jesus wore a seemless gown that was such an expensive asset to have in those early days yet He remained humble with his state.
As many of us live in communities and have many people around us, we really need to be careful and full of love while speaking with others about our lives. Will what I share lift up the other person or will it discourage him even further. May i try to refrain from talks of prosperity, promotions, gifts, talents, food etc etc because the world is full of it…! May my words be words of encouragement helping each Sister walk closer to God and be content with what God has given her.
We have a dear brother living in Pune who often jokes and make others laugh yet always directing the joke to himself. He has given us so many examples from his life yet almost all the time been as transparent as the scripture showing his failures and struggles and how God has been helping him to grow. Yes has been.. not had helped!! I have heard many messages where the preacher speaks about a struggle he had years years ago and blah blah blah and my heart shuts down. Not years ago – its humility to mention I am struggling this now!! I really look forward to times when he shares as he never tries to give us a pictures of himself that is near to perfection and we can relate to it so well yet when I listen to sharing that only exalts the speaker and how the Lord has been with that person and how he has overcome everything in his life – how perfect his thought, actions and words were and are – I should say… My ears automatically shuts down..! That’s only boasting – I don’t believe the listener could bear any fruit from the boastful exhortation of such a person..! He is a god to himself.
This warns me and convicts me! Am I truthful about the utter sinfulness of my life. Do I exalt the power of God’s righteousness in my life. On my own I am utter unloving and utter ugly and utter selfish yet today while I still struggle with these all.. It’s God Who continues to help me by His convicting word and His lively examples around me to show me the path I need to take. To love others, not be boastful about my achievements and stumble the simple hearted yet encourage others with simplicity and genuineness..! I am on this pathway, may God give us grace!!!!