14 Jun 2011

A Place in this World?

Submitted by theshovel
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Hello all you Shovel readers!

I’m hoping that in the midst of your day you will recognize who you really are in this world. I know how easy it is to pass so much off as being merely confusion, but the truth is that if you are in Christ you exist in this world as an outsider. Your life comes from another place, another reality than what is seen, felt, heard, or reasoned. I wonder how many of you are hoping to get past this sense of alienation? If it all seems a hopeless struggle, it may simply be because you are still trying to find your place in a world that has no place for you. Your place is in God through our savior Jesus Christ. Rest in him!!

This Week’s ShovelAudio continues with the series on marriage as being the joining of two. Adam and I discuss a few things, including Peter’s statement about a wife winning her disobedient husband without a word, and Paul’s message to the Corinthians where he answers their questions regarding being married to an unbelieving spouse. Tune in to this week’s ShovelAudio:

The Joining of Two: Believer and Unbeliever

I apologize for those who tried to download the audio file from the link in the Spoonful, as I didn’t realize that the statistics tracker (which I don’t actually use) would nullify a direct download without going to the site. I just turned that feature off, and I’m going to try again to give you a direct link to the audio file if you’d like to download it from here. If it doesn’t work you can still go to the site and get it. :)

ShovelAudio Download

My best to you all!
Jim

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Comments

Hi Jim! I love this: “I’m hoping that in the midst of your day you will recognize who you really are in this world. I know how easy it is to pass so much off as being merely confusion, but the truth is that if you are in Christ you exist in this world as an outsider. Your life comes from another place, another reality than what is seen, felt, heard, or reasoned. I wonder how many of you are hoping to get past this sense of alienation? If it all seems a hopeless struggle, it may simply be because you are still trying to find your place in a world that has no place for you. Your place is in God through our savior Jesus Christ. Rest in him!!” I can indeed relate. Oh how often I have felt that something was wrong with me because I just don’t really fit in. However, it is because I don’t really fit in that has become part of God’s affirmation that nothing is wrong with me! Glad to be here with you! Gregg
theshovel's picture

Gregg, my brother! I am glad you are here with me, too. :)

Jim

"However, it is because I don’t really fit in that has become part of God’s affirmation that nothing is wrong with me!"

Gregg and Jim...THIS is ALL SO AMAZING. It wasn't until I finally realized that I truly have ABSOLUTELY NO PLACE in this world that I finally STOPPED TRYING to fit in and become a part of something that has NO AFFINITY WITH ME AT ALL! And there is so much freedom in this reality! So much life. NO LONGER do I HAVE to judge myself according to STANDARDS and OTHERS' PERCEPTIONS. I am NOW FREE to BE the unique individual I AM, whereas everyone in the world is STRUGGLING to be SOMEBODY ELSE. Even in something like making music: You guys may know I'm a musician who had, in the past, tried very hard to ''make it'' in today's pop/hip hop music industry. I used to make music FOR OTHER people to enjoy: My life strictly revolved around EVERYONE ELSE'S OPINION concerning the art and stuff I had made. But those very opinions ALWAYS depended on current TRENDS: If it DID fit in, it was "good and acceptable;" If it DIDN'T, it was viewed as either "obsolete" or "too ahead of it's time." Back then, I never fully realized the reality that ART ITSELF is rated ONLY by how much it fits in with FADS and trends, in other words, ever-changing ,unstable, unpredictable >>> no FOUNDATION. ...And of course, MY OWN OPINIONS did NOT MATTER to the executive producers in charge.

MY PERSONAL TASTE actually MATTERS NOW, to ME. I am finally RELEVANT to myself -NOT- BASED ON EVER-ELUSIVE and ever-changing PERCEPTIONS of my work, but because of the sheer reality that God has MADE ME RELEVANT to MEEEE. I used to read and wonder what was meant when Jim would write things like "I am not complete in any way without (viewing reality according to) Christ." But now I'm living this reality; it's SO TRUE in EVERY WAY, SHAPE, AND FORM. Humanity and our lives were ALWAYS INTENDED to BE this way. We were MADE to be UNIQUE INDIVIDUALS instead of lifeless, zombie-like lemmings that spend our whole lives diving off the cliffs of conformity.

The irony is that when I used to be a non-believer, I thought believing in Christ was as conformist as it gets! ;D Who knew?! Only in Christ can we ACTUALLY BE OURSELVES. It's like night and day: The night, RATING ourselves according to FORMULAS - LAW. The day, BEING FREE to BE THAT WHICH WE ARE. I AM THAT I AM is God's name, and it's OURS too!

Love you guys and everyone on this site!!
Free in Christ,
Justin.

theshovel's picture

What a breath of fresh air this is to me! Justin, I am so excited to hear this. Thanks for expressing the joy of your freedom.

Jim

Justin, what you are saying is that to learn Christ and therefore to enter into the only workable reality available to mankind, this learning by no means can be understood in the flesh. Say, the disciples had trouble understanding Jesus and Jesus was with them every day. Justin, how blessed you are to learn of Christ in the only way possible -- through the Spirit of Him that is in you. Thank you for sharing this revelation. It is so encouraging and a blessing to me. My brother, continue to rest in the true realities that the Sprit is showing you. (Jim, and others, have a great trip to the Midwest! I hope to join you on the next one.) nergo

theshovel's picture

Thanks for your encouragement, both to Justin and to us.

Thanks Nergo!

Nergo, it would be nice to have you brother.

Adam

"The irony is that when I used to be a non-believer, I thought believing in Christ was as conformist as it gets! ;D Who knew?! Only in Christ can we ACTUALLY BE OURSELVES. It's like night and day: The night, RATING ourselves according to FORMULAS - LAW. The day, BEING FREE to BE THAT WHICH WE ARE. I AM THAT I AM is God's name, and it's OURS too!" Love, love, love this!!!

Justin, you have no clue who I am, but I'm forever one with you through our Savior, so I guess we will know each other well someday! :) I just wanted to let you know God used His Spirit in you to encourage His Spirit in me today. Your whole comment was so beautifully expressed! I wept tears of joy as I read it, and the life in those words reminded me of where my strength comes from....Christ IN me! I never get tired of being reminded of that unshakeable truth, and it is my greatest joy to remind other brothers and sisters. Thank you for sharing!!!!
Also, I just wanted to mention that this site is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places on the internet! This is true not only because of the truth Jim has shared with us about Christ and who/what the Good News truly is, but also the outpouring of the Spirit of Christ from everyone who comments here!

Candi

theshovel's picture

Candi, this encouraging post really ministered to Sherri and I on our way home yesterday! :)

Jim

how very encouraging! thank you, thank you, thank you! this was wonderfully stated! wonderfully supportive! :)

I did a search on theshovel web site and did not find much information on a Christian’s perspective on social injustices or ongoing social problems. How involved should a Christian be in speaking out against social injustices and problems in the community? Should a Christian have a sense of responsibility to speak out in support of victims and against a community when someone has been treated unfairly? Examples: someone is wrongfully arrested or convicted for a crime, racism being promoted or tolerated, ongoing bullying in the school system, or community poverty that can be prevented but the government or local churches are not doing anything about it. As a new creature in Christ I am not of this world, I am an outsider, but at the same time, should not a Christian get involved to speak out to support fairness or call attention to ongoing social problems that are being ignored? I just don’t see in your writings a connection with those in Christ participating in or expressing concerns to a community at large about social injustices and problems. It appears we should remain at rest in Him, for our true life in Christ is in another realm, realize God is working through all social injustices and problems, and just trust that God works all things for good in His time and in His way. I enjoy your website. I appreciate what you have written. Your web site has helped me understand my life in Christ. I am just surprised that I did not find any writings. I would appreciate any views you may have on this.

theshovel's picture

Hello my friend CP!

Truly doing good and helping people is something I can whole-heartedly agree with. That being said, I think there have been far too many attempts to fix society’s problems that have backfired or ended in disaster. Here are some of my own reflections regarding what you ask:

  • Who is determining what the others really need or want?
  • How much of it is based upon truth versus opinion, or even downright lies?
  • How often have some forced their ideals upon others only to make matters worse in the long run?
  • How often is “racism” used as propaganda because it will stir up strong reactions?
  • What if some of the “victims” are really the instigators who simply know how to manipulate?
  • Who determines which concerns should be spoken out against?
  • What if the things I think are important are the things that even Christian social do-gooder groups think are not?
  • What if those who speak out against social injustice think that my perspectives are the very things that should be weeded out of society’s beliefs?

The cry for fairness is a very relative concept, and I am rather leery when I hear it used as a platform. I have witnessed enough to become convinced that many innocent people have been convicted of crimes they didn’t do, but I am also convinced that many of them were only convicted because of an unfounded public outrage against them. Yes, people have often joined together in the spirit of correcting social injustice only to add to that injustice. I have read and watched many historical documentaries that reveal the damage done by groups who thought they were doing the right thing. Christians, especially religious ones, are no exception.

I have heard many who have spoken out during the course of my own life, and what once stirred me to want to join in with them now causes me to listen more carefully to what might actually be going on with the whole thing. Do I hear life motivating their cause or do I mostly hear something else?

Jim

Thank you for your reply. I believe I understand were you are coming from. There could be many unknowns when someone initially gets involved in helping to solve society's problems. In a similar manner, just last week I talked to a man who was in the Air Force Reserve who just returned from deployment in Afghanistan. I was surprised to hear from him that the bombing continues even though the US has reported 'US troops are out of Afghanistan'.

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Random Shovelquote: Bible in view of Christ (view all shovelquotes)

If we were to hear those [Biblical] statements in view of the connected demands as to our new life in Christ, the idea of attempting to constantly review every possible principle in order to do the right thing would never fly. source