This blog is me. What I share is what I experience and see, and what I hope will help others when I share it. I get very few comments to the blog, but the numbers of readers continues to increase – so I am unsure how much I am able to actually make a difference, a positive difference for someone else. So – if what I say and share resonates with you and/or makes a difference in your life, please do take the time to post a comment.
That said; let me share some more (very) personal experiences. This week has been trying. Monday I did what I think is the most difficult thing I have ever done. But I feel confident that I have done the right thing, that I did it in Good Love, and that many people – even those who feel they have been wronged – will also be blessed in the long run. The last year or so there have been many circumstances in my life that I did not especially appreciate, yet so many of them were what the majority of people would call “coincidents.” But I see them as miracles – unusual circumstance and timing that could only be the work of God. Last week, one of the miracles I was blessed to experience was the conversation with Bret that I shared here, and his story of Good Love.
So, if we are talking of Good, Better, Best Love, and a man needs to examine himself, what does that mean? Well, to me it means that I have to see if I practice what I preach, if I put my money where my mouth is, if my actions speak louder than my words. As a husband, as a father, as a son, am I an example that helps people take two steps forward, or do I provoke them to take a step back? Do I provide a positive example that is able to assist people in making a positive difference in their lives, or not? If I see a fault in someone that is not only obvious to me, but to many, many people with contact with that someone, is there something in me personally that may impede my ability to communicate the fault to that someone? If so, will I do something about it?
Let me share a little about communion tokens. These were implemented based on a suggestion by Calvin back in 1560. The Presbyterian churches of Scotland were the main ones to use them, especially in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. The first two pictures above are the two sides of a token from 1853 – exactly 100 years before I was born. It has two Biblical verses, the one of interest: “Let a man examine himself.” The next token is heart shaped and dated 1766, while the last one has the image on an anchor, and is from 1750.
What strikes me as ironic is that these tokens were part of a process where a group of church elders examined the church members, to ensure they had a proper belief system, and that they were qualified and “worthy” of participating in communion. So here we have a token with the biblical verse that says a man should examine himself, yet the token is only given by a group from the church that deems the recipient worthy. If the elders found the member worthy, they were given a token and could participate in communion.
At times we need outside examination. If we are not ready to change, to change direction, but need to, we are blind to that. Because the problem is that if we are governed by our deceitful hearts, we can easily find ourselves in a state of “foolish and senseless,” and need the sight of others to help overcome our blind spots or blindness. Yet, if we find ourselves judged by others, who perhaps are themselves blinded by legalism and lists of rules, or if we are blinded by the sickness of addiction, we can reject all the feedback when in fact we need help in examining ourselves.
Does that make sense? I hope so. I don’t just want to share; I want to make a positive difference.