BRAVE: Owning Up

Do you ever have those days when you feel numb?  When you’d rather just go on doing what your doing and forget everything else?

I’m not feeling particularly brave today.  Today, brave would mean owning up.  It would mean taking a hard look at stuff I’m quite comfortable keeping in the dark.  I’m avoiding doing my bible study homework because it means I will have to do this. Examine my life, my heart.  I feel like a two-year old.  I don’t want to.

This isn’t working for me.  This avoidance.  I facilitate the study.  I can’t NOT do the homework.  It would look bad, right?

If the only thing that is worrying me is that I’ll look bad then I really need this homework.  Pride is obviously an issue.  I’m not denying it isn’t.  We’ve squared off several times before.

The “stuff” we hide in the dark isn’t necessarily big, bad, and scary.  Some of it may be good in the right context.  Some of it isn’t.  It might be pride.  It might be a well concealed lie.  A temper. Gossip.  A stubborn spirit.  Or as Kelly Minter is talking about in the Nehemiah study, what we put into our minds, especially in the areas of entertainment.

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I have to admit this is a struggle for me.  I love the arts.  All of them.  I adore all forms of dance.  I studied art history while painting, drawing and shading my way through year after year of art courses.

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Some projects I did in high school. Yes I kept them!
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High school art.

My son sees the beautiful sculptures of David and others, and questions is this good or bad?  They’re nude right?  We’ve told him that those pictures are not good to look at.  What’s the difference?  How do you define the artistic nuances and purity of Michelangelo’s David versus the lewd pictures on the internet, to a twelve-year old mind?

Yet I believe there is a difference.

This is one of the hardest things about parenting.  As my boys grow, the barrage of images, movies, music and books that gets thrown at them grows exponentially.  I can’t keep up.  We try but really, it’s almost impossible.  Even the most bubble-wrapped child is going to be exposed.  Yet I’m a firm believer of exorcizing the Christian bubble.  The world is what it is and they need to know what is out there and what is good and not good.  To learn to have discrimination and understand what Jesus would want for them in all areas of their lives.  For them to understand free will.  So when they choose good, it’s not because we’ve forced them to.

It opens incredible teaching moments and opportunities for relationship with them.  It lets them know that they can come to us and ask us their questions.  It’s safe.  Do we always get it right?  NOT.

I understand there are inherent risks involved.  We teach as we go.  I heard this; “You can’t unsee something.”  I say that to the boys.  I also tell them what you put in your bodies, your minds is what comes out.  Ahh…. Therein lies the cause of my avoidance.

The relentless nagging, the lovingly, incessant poke of the Spirit.  I don’t always take my own advice.  It’s so easy to tell our children, our spouses, our friends and family what to do.  To blog about it.  It’s incredibly difficult to follow through ourselves.  We dig our heels in and rationalize.  Minimize.  It’s not just in the area of entertainment.  It’s in all the corners of our lives.  I thought I tried to live out what I speak.  Write.  Kelly Minter’s study has made me stop.  Do I really?  Maybe in some areas but some of the darker corners, not so much.  I just go on doing what I want to do.  We all know the areas the Spirit is speaking to us about.  They are different for everyone.

Being brave today would mean taking a flashlight and shining it into those corners that I don’t really want to venture into to.  Because it’s hard to own up.  It’s hard to stop habits that have become a way of life.  It’s going to take some hard work.  It’s going to take some time at the foot of the cross.  It’s answering a question that Jesus has been asking me on and off for a while now.  “Who do you love more?”  That thing you’re holding onto or Me?

It means I have to do my homework.  To be brave.

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