Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Impatient Patient

So, last week I had a post relating the health of our body to our marital health, and at the time I was thinking I could totally take that analogy one step further, but my post was already very long, and since I had similar post to that rabbit trail already formulated into a partial post, I figured I'd just extend the conversation another day. Today is that day. :)

So part of my conclusion relating to why we choose replacing vs. repairing in our marital health had to do with impatience and lack of committment/loyalty, which can be applied to society's attitude in general. Commitment to just about everything these days is so short-sighted. Relationships, families, jobs, moral/value systems, etc. As I mentioned in my last post....If you can't fix it now, fix it all, fix it painlessly, (in other words, attain our idea of perfection) then just throw it away, cast it aside, kick it to the curb. On to the next thing.

And as I also mentioned, I am not the type to give in when the going gets tough, but I am a perfectionist who is impatient.  I do stuggle being in the pain of imperfection, and sometimes I wish I could just put myself in the body shop to have a complete overhaul.  I want to fix it all and as soon as possible.

Back to the hip replacement surgery analogy I used in my last post. My mom had to have many tests done to make sure her body was able to undergo this serious surgery. One of the tests related to the condition of her heart, if her heart wasn't healthy enough, they would not operate on her hip. The two really don't have much to do with one another, so why couldn't they operate on the hip despite the heart, or work on correcting both problems at the same time? The more areas in need of 'fixing' the harder it is for the body to regulate it's overall health, with pulling resources usually used in other areas of your body and concentrating them on the most crucial areas in need of repair, it would spread the resources too thin if they added the trauma of surgery while the heart was having issues, or to try to 'fix' both at once. God may choose to help us work on more than one area of our lives, because he knows our resources can handle these repairs, but without trusting him and heeding his expert advice, if we take our healing into our own hands, we could stretch our resources too thin and just be doing more damage to ourselves.

So is there a cure for this impatience? Get rid of our perfectionism for one.  As Christians we have a whole other level of perfectionism, being called to a higher standard and all.  Therefore I think we have a lot of unforgiveness for our own mistakes, driving us to be better, quicker. We just want to be in the zone, producing fruit, expanding the kingdom, etc., not wasting time with these frustrating and depressing strongholds. Somewhere along the line I think that translates into a lower tolerance for pain, we don't have the patience for pain, which means more time dealing with it and less time being in the zone.  And, in turn that can in fact lower our standards for ourselves.  We realize we experience less 'pain' if we don't fall from such high standards, and next thing we know we're blind to the plank in our eye (as we're still pointing out the specks in others' eyes).

I'm not saying we throw out high standards to avoid perfectionism, but I think we have to re-examine what God is really expecting of us.  Is he expecting us to be perfect? Of course not, he realizes we'll never attain that.  Why would he call us to something we can never succeed at? What does he want to accomplish by calling us to higher standards then?  He wants to us to try, because it is in the 'why we try' that we glorify him. And he wants us to glorify him in order to bring others to him, so that as many of us can enjoy an eternal life with him as possible.  Recently a sermon at Church talked about getting to the core of our beliefs, one example being the origin and reason for catacism which stated this particular question I found interesting, what is the chief end of man, the answer, to glorify God.


We don't glorify God by living a charmed existence, by prospering according to any standards. We glorify God by allowing ourselves to be refined by the fires of life, removing the impurities that build up from living in this world. He didn't create us to live in a bubble, preventing pain and suffering, for a reason.

We don't glorify God just by being 'fixed'. It isn't just the end result, what we are able to do because of the changes he has made in our lives, that brings him glory. We glorify him even more by being open and honest about our imperfections, being an example of a fallible human that demostrates trust in, and the healing touch of, the Great Physician.

I think of the people in the Bible, and those who brought the most glory to God. David comes to mind, who wrote all those praises, immortalized in songs that we still sing, and that still moves believers to this day.  David, who went out of his way to lust after a married woman, have an affair with her, then jeopardized lives to orchestrate the return of her husband from war, just so it was probable he fathered the child that David actually did, and then ended up killing her husband anyway.  Yet Romans uses David as an example of a man who was righteous, in his faithfulness.

We will have epic fails. We will fall prey to temptations that should be a no-brainer. We will hide from our own sins, we will commit worse sins to cover up our shame.  But do we have faith God can restore our health, and then willingly let him do so?

"...to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness".

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