This morning I was reading Romans chapter 8. It left me with more questions than answers. This chapter starts out talking about how there is no condemnation in Christ. Often I feel self-condemnation. I am beginning to understand that in those moments I am subjecting myself to the law, to the evil one. Then I must ask myself, “Do I really want to live my life by the law?”
I also am beginning to understand something else about myself. I don't like ambiguity. I prefer things to be clear, to be black or white, not gray. But when I wait for that I am waiting for the rules of the law (those boundaries that make things cut and dry, right or wrong) to give me clarity of action.
As easy as that makes things in some ways, it makes them next to impossible in others. I cannot live by the law. I am not perfect. I am doomed to failure.
How does this tie in with ambiguity? How do I get clarity without trying to live in the law? I am currently working on defining boundaries and clearing out unnecessary clutter—tangible and intangible. It has been a very healthy process, but aren't boundaries rules—another way of saying what is allowed and what isn't? Rules get back to the law and here I am living under the law again.
How does one find balance?
A couple of days ago my morning devotional talked about a “To Be” list. All to often we go through life with our “To Do” lists. But when we slow down and think about who we are we leave more of a lasting impression on the world. In stead of focusing on the things I need to accomplish today—which could be important, I am not saying they are not—rather than on who I need to be today I miss the important parts of life.
For example, if I am more concerned about getting to the grocery store to buy food than I am about spending time with my daughter then I miss out on that time with her. If she sees me constantly trying to do stuff then the lesson I am teaching her is that stuff is more important than she is. What kind of a mark is that going to leave as my legacy? No one remembers that I went to the grocery store promptly each week, they remember that I did not have time for them. So if I start focusing on the things I need to be, I naturally begin to reflect the distinguishing marks of Christ in my life.
However, it goes farther than that. I cannot just decide “I am going to show the Lord's kindness today”. In order for me to reflect something I have to understand it in my own life. If I do not think I am worthy of God's kindness how can I show it to others?
I think the “To Do's” have become my self laws. In other words, I have decided how I need to be acting and when I am not acting that way I am obviously a big failure and then comes the self-condemnation. So now I am right back to looking for that balance again.