There is usually someone in the Bible that we each can relate to.. For example, my friend Groovy Mama is definitely a Peter.. She has a fierce, protective love for her friends, and amazing faith.. She also has an incredible temper and she has to make a conscience effort to think first and act later, rather than the other way around..
My husband is a combination of Sampson and David.. Strong, arrogant and prideful, but also humble, incredibly loving, with a faith that makes my own look minimal..
Of all the people in the Bible, I can most relate to Paul.. Now before you go thinking "wow! Comparing yourself to one of the greatest apostles in the Bible! How self-righteous can you be?" let me explain..
Paul was a very smart man.. He was educated, people listened to him when he talked, and he had influence over his peers.. He was a scholar who enjoyed learning, reading, writing, the arts, and even sports.. Paul was good at what he did and people liked him.. But Paul was incredibly prideful, impatient with people, and stubborn.. Paul knew he was smart, figured he was always right, and wouldn't budge when challenged..
Because of this, several times he went his own way, separating himself from anyone who didn't agree with his direction or decisions..
I have a similar personality.. I am a learner.. I love to read, write, study, and at the risk of sounding full of myself, I do have a pretty high IQ.. Though I'm not an incredibly social person, I can talk to people, I can hold their attention, and I can teach.. I am also incredibly prideful, impatient with people, and stubborn.. I do go my own way, and I have walked away from people who I thought were holding on too tightly or not going in the same direction..
Paul knew where he needed to go and what he needed to do when he got there.. He was truly on a mission and let absolutely nothing keep him from his task.. However, he made several enemies along the way, lost friends, and I'm sure he was considered self-righteous by many people.. This is something else Paul and I have in common..
I don't think that Paul was good at being tactful (neither am I).. I think that Paul knew what needed to be said, so he just said it.. But there were times that he was seriously lacking kindness in his delivery..
But there was something about Paul that I completely understand, that maybe not lot of people have considered.. Many people refused to listen to Paul for quite some time because they knew him before, when he was a Pharisee.. Especially the other apostles.. They had walked with Jesus, they knew Jesus personally and they had suffered for it.. And then here comes this guy who they thought, knew nothing at all about Jesus, telling them how to live like Christ.. It didn't go over well at first, and there were more arguments along the way.. But even though Paul could be harsh and sometimes flat out mean, he was also the apostle who wrote 1 Corinthians 13. He did have a heart for Jesus and his peers.. He just didn't always show it well..
I believe that Paul didn't write about anything that he hadn't learned himself, probably the hard way.. I really doubt that he just sat in his room and listened while God dictated to him word for word what He wanted Paul to write.. If God just told us what he wanted us to know, we wouldn't really learn the lesson.. It's like someone else giving you the answers to your homework.. You didn't do the work, you didn't learn the lesson, so you failed the test that came later..
It's the same for me.. I write and talk about things I have personally learned, and usually learned the hard way (conviction). Sometimes I am told that I have been incredibly helpful and other times I am told that I am full of myself and self-righteous.. In fact, I took my blog offline for a while because of an email I received about something I had posted a while ago. This person was angry because she felt that I had written about her personally.. She said that I had no idea what I was talking about and that she didn't appreciate me blogging about her private life.. She called me self-righteous, told me that I had no idea what her life was truly like, and if I walked a mile in her shoes I would feel differently.. Now here is the funny part.. I have never met or spoken to this person in my life! I know nothing about her or her personal life..
Here's the thing.. There was a time when I used my blog as a weapon.. I would write something knowing that a particular person would read it.. I would even say "If you think I'm writing about you, I probably am".. But I have matured since then.. That is one of the reasons that I became so disillusioned with Facebook.. You know that saying 'what you hate about someone else is the same thing you hate about yourself'..? Well that was me.. I hated seeing people anonymously bash each other on Facebook because I knew that just a year and a half ago I was doing the same thing on my blog..
I have matured since, and now when I write, I make it more personal.. I write about my own lessons, my own struggles, and my own triumphs.. If something I have learned the hard way helps someone else learn it a little easier? Fantastic! But on the downside, if something I write upsets you, bumps you a little, or flat out ticks you off? Well, there isn't a whole lot I can do about that except to tell you that it's about me and not you.. You can chose to believe that or not.. Totally your call.. I won't even be offended if you don't believe it.. At the risk of sounding self-righteous, I don't care..
But if reading my blog really does make you upset, you can always stop reading it..
But I would like to ask you to do one thing.. If something I write makes you angry, before you go off on me, before you call me self-righteous and mean, please take a moment to ask yourself if I truly am the one making you angry.. Maybe there is something I hit on that bumped you, but maybe there is a deeper reason why it did?
Of course, if you just want to blow it off as me being full of myself? Well, you can do that to.. Like I said.. It doesn't bother me.. At all..