Hey friends! I realize that it has been a couple of weeks since I posted, but seriously, why should I yammer on about a topic if I don’t have something I am convicted or passionate about yammering on about? Capiche? Thanks for reading; it is so rewarding to know you do.
Do I make myself clear? Is that clear? How can I make this more clear for you?
We have all used this wordage, whether when giving instructions (for the fiftieth time) to children or training a co-worker on a new job. When speaking with the kids, one wonders at times – have I spoken in Latin or Greek or perhaps pig-Latin? Is that the reason you have failed to do as I instructed? But generally, whenever we are speaking we have a desire to have clarity in our communication, right?
I wonder, however, if we a full understanding of the word clear. Obviously, I didn’t before I did a little research. There are over twenty definitions, for Pete’s sake, so how could we?!
The first meaning listed for clear is free from darkness, obscurity, or cloudiness; light. Can you claim to be free from darkness or obscurity? Sometimes I believe I am only to be blinded by the Light of conviction. The darndest things can obscure clarity for me…like that log in my eye while I’m noticing the small twig in yours! I Cor. 10:12 says, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” ouch.
The second meaning is transparent. For all of our talk about transparency, we Christians are really quite uncomfortable with this aspect of being clear. We obfuscate, block, wear masks (see last blog post), make theological speak, and go to all manner of religious (or other) calisthenics to avoid it. Some things I have seen used as ways to block being transparent is talking a lot, anger (my personal weapon), the inability to be still in a serious, could-maybe-become-transparent conversation, or silliness at inappropriate times. Transparency remains a popular term among us, but practicing it requires vulnerability, which can be…well, scary…and at times, off-putting to those who have chosen not to be transparent.
The third definition – without discoloration, defect, or blemish – this, we know, can only apply to us through the sacrifice and blood of Christ. Due to the Father’s infinite mercy, He gave His only Son, so that He can present us to Himself without spot or blemish. Thanks be to God!
Fourth – easily seen; sharply defined: this definition reminds me of I Peter 2:9-10. In his letter to the pilgrims and sojourners who were scattered throughout Asia, Galatia, Cappadocia, Bithynia, and Pontus, Peter reminded them:
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
It makes me question how ‘easily seen and sharply defined’ I am as a called-out one in this world of darkness. I feel deep sadness that I can look back to a time when I fervently believed and practiced the belief that I was part of a chosen race and a royal priesthood…so much more than in recent years. It isn’t that I have thrown caution to the wind and lost my moral compass; folks around me even know I am a Christian. No, I lost the ‘sharp definition’ of being a person of God’s own possession.
How about you? Are you ‘easily seen’ as one who has been called out of darkness into His marvelous light or are your edges blurred?
Another definition is free from hoarse, harsh, or rasping qualities. OK, be completely honest here; how many of you know someone whose personality or voice just drives you COMPLETELY INSANE?!! I know, I know, we’ve all been taught that it isn’t godly; I won’t tell a soul, not one. We’ll just tell Jesus; He already knows, anyway. 😉 Perhaps that person is rude or crude or talks too loud. Perhaps that person tells the same, boring stories every. single. time. you see him or her. Or maybe that person is a one-up person: whatever you have done, he/she did it sooner and better than you did…or their kids did it before yours did. Argh. You fill in the blank about what the person does that makes that fingernails-on-a-chalkboard feeling in your soul or psyche.
However, what if you are or I am that person for someone else?? (gasp*) I realize that could not possibly be true since we are all so very cool and spiritual, but try to imagine it for a moment…it may be difficult. Are you sometimes harsh or have a rasping (grating) voice with people? I am. Sometimes the words fly out sounding differently, more harsh or more grating than they sounded in my head. Know what I mean? Usually, on those days, I need more grace from others than law, more love than lectures, but I’m aware that it’s more difficult to give under those circumstances. I wonder if that is how those people who came to our minds need, too.
Well, I think I am finished for now. There are several more definitions to discuss and I may come back to this next week, but I don’t want your eyes to cross. The challenge for me, and maybe for you, is simply to ask, are we clear?
If not, are we getting there?