15
Oct

Children of the Day Post 8: 2 Thessalonians 2

Children of the DayIt was a relief to watch Beth’s video on 2 Thessalonians 1 last Sunday. Why? Because she chose to talk about a subject that most of us agree is essential to Christianity–the second coming of Jesus and avoided some topics that we, even as Christians, have a variety of opinions that can cause some lively discussion! Here is a little of what Beth said about his return to planet Earth:

1. Relief will come to those who are in discomfort.

2. Eternal “relocation” will be assigned.

3. We will marvel.

4. Jesus will be glorified by the “saints” around Him, because they will be perfected and complete.

This last statement floors me. If I believe that Jesus died in payment for all of my faults, mistakes and stupidity, then that must mean that Jesus thinks there is at least one redeeming quality about me that is worth crucifixion. And while that concept alone does floor me, it floors me even more to know that Jesus will be excited to have all of us around Him when He comes again. In fact 2 Thessalonians 1:12  states that we will be glorified. Say what? Come again? I must have misunderstood you, Paul. I shouldn’t be glorified, but yet there it is in black and white. The Message interprets it this way, “If your life honors the name of Jesus, then He will honor you.”

Guess I’d better get busy honoring His name, then! If that isn’t a reason to get busy and do good things for this decrepit world of ours, I don’t know what is. And trust me–this week’s homework cries for us to honor Him in a decrepit world because it talks about the “end times.”

I don’t know about you, but I have trouble reading and talking about the end of the world as we know it. The counselor in me took over this week and asked myself (Yes, I talk to myself–probably an indication I should seek counseling!), “Why do you hate this topic so much?” Hmmm….good question. But here are the possible answers:

1. I don’t like thinking about evil consuming our planet and someone so despising Jesus and His followers that they would have the audacity to claim they are God.

2. I am scared, that if this period of time occurs in my lifetime, I won’t be able to withstand all the persecution and will wind up caving to this evil.

3. I don’t completely know how to interpret these events as listed in the Bible and thus, I grow weary of trying to discern what’s symbolic and what’s literal.

Do any of these possible answers sound like you? Please tell me I have some company here! The Day 2 and Day 3 homework really made me feel this way, so it probably comes as no surprise that Beth’s writing in the Day 1 homework resonated with me far more.

It has always been a “bee in my bonnet” that all of us (Yes, Christians, too!) often put on a facade when around others so that people will think we “have it all together.” I get particularly irritated when a person in authority does this. Why? Because the Bible clearly states that all of us have screwed up–none of us are perfect!

There is a huge danger when we put on these facades and try to avoid difficult subjects and the ugliness of our lives. Those subjects gain power through our fear of them. And what we fear often paralyzes us at best and wrecks whole families and communities and nations at worst. It is far better to discuss these subjects, learn about how to deal with them in a healthy way and forgive anyone who falls prey to their tenacious claws. That’s when fear is dispelled and those nasty subjects suddenly don’t seem so powerful. They’re now manageable–they’re survivable. In fact God will probably use those experiences to make us even better equipped to help others through similar situations–equipped with compassion, patience, and understanding empathy.

So, why do we put on these facades? Because we want people to like us. And we think people won’t like us if we aren’t perfect little muffins. Well, sports fans? Generally speaking, when I show all “my warts,” people like me better. Don’t ask me why–they just do. Maybe because they see a little of themselves in my shortcomings? Maybe because they can breathe a sigh of relief that it’s okay not to be perfect? So, how do we get brave enough to show our warts to each other?

Yes, when we show them, there are some who will not like us. We’ve all had experience with that, haven’t we? Beth reminds us how to have the courage to be real on page 169, despite this: “If we don’t get our inherent need to be significant met by Jesus, we will shape a deceptive persona from the malleable clay of our vain imaginations.” We get the courage to be real from Jesus.

Jesus isn’t and wasn’t everyone’s “cup of tea,” either. And yet, that ridiculously ostracized guy wound up saving the world. And saving me just so He could honor little old me someday. Now, if that doesn’t make you feel better about your warts, I don’t know what will. And when you feel better about your warts, they suddenly are easier to share with others openly. They just don’t seem as important to cover up as they once did.

So, put away the wrinkle cream. Take off the Spanx. Chuck the hair dye in the trash. Use a little less make-up this week. Buy a bigger pair of jeans. Forget to dust your furniture. And tell someone about your warts. It’ll be okay. Jesus said so. 😉

Friday’s Post: Another “My Favorite Things“…

You Might Also Like: Children of the Day Post 7; Children of the Day Post 6; Children of the Day Post 5; Children of the Day Reflection # 4; and Children of the Day Reflection #3

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 at 10:50 am and is filed under God stuff. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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