I don’t want to be a whitewashed tomb

Whitewashed tombs.  What an oxymoron, huh?

By definition a tomb is something that holds the remains of the dead.  I picture dark, stinky, gross.  Being whitewashed on the other hand is pristine, clean, and anything but stinky.  Jesus refers to the Pharisees as ‘whitewashed tombs’ in the bible and warns us not to be that way.  You could dig into the meaning of that warning in very deep ways but one simple way is this:  Don’t put up a front like you’ve got it all together when truth be told, you’re a mess inside.

So now I start to psychoanalyze:   Where do I fall on this one?  Am I a whitewashed tomb?  Or do I display my ‘mess’ for all to see?  Or do I not have a mess to show?? (ok, that made me laugh….I’ve got mess alright!)

Here is what I know:  I have mess (as stated above) –>  I hate having my mess seen and known by others –> therefore, by definition I would prefer a ‘whitewashed tomb’ look to me –> but, I am wildly transparent about my mess (hence, this blog).  Soooo…..

I couldn’t stop smiling today when this little puzzle came together for me — my God is so gracious to me!  He knows how I’m wired and He knows my propensity for the whitewashed look.  He teaches me His view on things.  He listens to my prayers.  But instead of taking that propensity away from me, he adds transparency to the mix.  Then it becomes ball in my court.  Do I step out in that transparency and trust that it will bring good, or do I bury it and go on whitewashin’?  I LOVE THAT!!  He isn’t a cosmic magician in my life – making my faults disappear –  He walks beside me in grace giving me all the tools that I need to live past those faults!

Now I am no where near perfect on this – but here is what I have seen.  When I step out in transparency and share my struggles I am blessed for it.  With friends who share similar struggles and we can encourage and lift each other up – with deeper relationships built on truth and not facades – and with a peace and joy in knowing that I am overcoming that yuck inside of me to do what it is that He is calling me to do.

But here is the bigger point of this all:  Where else in life am I needing to apply this grace and walk with God through an issue?

God is in the business of transforming hearts, but not always in the way we think.  We tend to think upon 2 extremes – either 1) I will work hard to change me because I see the problem clearly, or 2) I will ask God to change me because I see the problem clearly and its one I can’t solve.  I don’t think it works either way.  God comes along side us and, without removing the problem, gives us tools to work through it.  Transparency to snuff out pride.  Patience to combat frustration.  Joy to overcome unhappiness.  Self control to win out over addictive habits.  Those tools are referred to as the Fruit of the Spirit.  They aren’t traits that we have (or even that God gives us), but are the tools of God in us that if we walk with Him in His grace He will display in our lives.

Looks like maybe I have some more psychoanalyzing to do!  It’ll go good with the usual Monday of laundry and mopping!

 

 

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Published in: on February 6, 2012 at 12:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

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