Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wednesday's Word...Rhythm (Part 3 of 4)

This is part three of a four part series called Rhythm. If you haven't read them, you can click on part 1 or part 2)


Everyone has times of insecurity. I'm not terribly athletic. I can't count the number of times I heard from the guys in high school, "If I were your size, I'd be unstoppable...I'd be able to bench press 250 lbs, or I'd dunk the ball easy!" One of my first memories of feelings of insecurity was in 4th grade, a kid named Chip called me Dumbo. I never knew that I had big ears until that moment, and what he said hurt me and caused me to be very self-conscious about my ears for a number of years. We have all had moments of insecurity.

Since we've been talking about rhythm, we could all probably say that we've been out of rhythm with ourselves at some [read: many] point in our lives. Insecurity, anger, guilt, frustration, and abandonment all throw us out of the rhythm we were created for. How do we respond? What can get us back in rhythm?

The foundation of everything in your life! You are the one involved in everything you do. You can't take you out of the equation. We are created to be in rhythm--rhythm with God, others, and ourselves. The problem is that when we aren't in rhythm with ourselves, we can't be in rhythm with God or others.

What does rhythm with God, others, and ourselves mean? It means that we are to love--show love, demonstrate love, and express love. Rhythm is displayed in love.

Here's what it comes down to: If we don't care what's done to us, how can we care about what is done to others? If we don't understand that we are worthy of love, how can we genuinely love others?

When we're not happy with who we are, we are afraid to let others see the real us and confirm our worst fear--that we really are unlovable. The Bible tells of an encounter Jesus had with a woman near a well. She was there hiding and avoiding others because she had secrets.

“[Jesus] left Judea and returned to Galilee. He had to go through Samaria on the way. Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’ He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.
The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, ‘You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?’
Jesus replied, ‘If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.’
‘But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,’ she said, ‘and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?’ “Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.’
‘Please, sir,’ the woman said, ‘give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water’” (John 4:3-15 NLT).

You can imagine this is a very confusing moment for this woman. This man enters the scene and offers eternal life. Most of us think that eternal life is something that happens when we die. Jesus sees it differently, eternal life begins now! Jesus is letter her know that there is more to life than how she is living now, out of rhythm with God. There's something "off" in her life and Jesus know's it. This woman is wearing a mask.

“‘Please, sir,’ the woman said, ‘give me some of that water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to haul water.’
‘Go and get your husband,’ Jesus told her.
‘I don’t have a husband,’ the woman replied.
Jesus said, ‘You’re right! You don’t have a husband for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now’ “ (John 4:15-18 NLT).

Jesus says, “Life isn’t working for you, is it? Let Me offer you another way of living, the way you were created to live.” He is not simply implying that she repeat some words after Him and everything will be okay when she dies. Life after death is just a portion of what He is offering her. He is implying she needs rhythm with herself now--something she can only have when she is in rhythm with God, herself and others.

We are great, just like this woman and Adam and Eve, at hiding our baggage. You know what I'm talking about. You look great on the outside, but it's just glitter. You live life, fingers crossed, hoping that no one knows what's going on inside.

Sin got this woman out of rhythm with God, but she was out of rhythm with herself as well. She determined that "out of rhythm" was the only option she had. That led to falling out of rhythm with herself. 

To be in rhythm with yourself is to love yourself. When you don't love yourself, you naturally begin not to love God. We can try to hide from others, but you know you can't hide from God. Everything you've said, done, or thought -- He sees and doesn't run away.

If the rhythm with you and God is off, maybe it's because you don't like you. Maybe it's not the person you are mad at, maybe it's not with your job, spouse, kids, or boss; maybe the issue

How can you begin to love yourself?

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