What makes a person who they are? A quick thought about things to do before 2017 ends...

The depth of neighborhood peculiarity was first evidenced on an Easter Sunday when our family observed a person in the midst of an [evidently] alcohol-induced and profanity-filled fit. While that sort of extreme level had not been viewed for some time, I had to pause when I noticed red pepper flakes sprinkled by a mailbox. I had walked a dog past the box the previous day and he had paused to briefly urinate. It was therefore easy to deduce that the pepper flakes had been placed there so that, should I have the audacity to walk the dog in the same proximity again, it would sniff and inhale them.*

This led to my contemplating the particular and peculiar nature of people. What makes someone who they are? Why would one person choose to be kind and another cruel? Why is one person generous and the other tight-fisted? Why does one person choose to love while the other to lash out?  

As I reflect on my own heart, I can easily see how God wove some things into me (Psalm 139:13) and other things were nurtured over time by various influences (Proverbs 22:6). I can see my multitude of continuing faults as well as seeing how God has helped me to grow. Likewise, I can see areas where I still hope to grow in wisdom and knowledge. I’m grateful to God for His calling in my heart and life and strive to grasp the grace I have received through Christ ever-more tightly!

What about the rest of the world? I think it is important for every person to seek God’s will for his or her own spiritual growth. The concept of being “satisfied” is not only unbiblical (Hebrews 5:12-14), it is simply silly. Why would anyone choose to be content with reading a “Dick and Jane” book when the Lord of the Rings trilogy is out there? Why choose to limit oneself to primary colors when the world is filled with an incredible palette?

Granted, an aspect of this might have to do with seasons of life. The idea of “I’ll get to this when I (finish school / get my first job / retire)” is reasonable in some ways, but is it really excusable? Is it ok to put off something like spiritual growth? However:

Aren’t we really just saying that we don’t have time for God?

That got real rather quickly, didn’t it?

There are now less than six months left in 2017. Have you set and / or achieved any spiritual goals so far this year? If not, why not set or push to achieve a few? It doesn’t have to be complicated. Read the Bible. (Bible Study Tools has an on-line resource to help you do it in 90 days.) Read a Christian book or two. (It’s ok to read a Christian novel but, if you do that, read something else too!) Schedule a daily prayer time. (Ask your phone to give you a reminder every day at a specific time.)

Honestly, I don’t have a clue what makes some people who they are or act the way they do. I can only guess that something in their past or present (negative or positive) has contributed to making them who they are. Whether it was real or imaginary, the only thing I can hope and pray for any person is that he or she seeks to find peace. That said, I do know that if each person could strive to be a better reflection of Christ, that world would be a much better place.   

Yours in Christ,

Marty

* Thankfully, the dog did not inhale any! And, if I’m being honest, there are moments when I wish I could act VERY un-Christian like. I get not liking a person for whatever reason, but I simply cannot fathom someone who would knowingly hurt an animal.