Sunday, March 5, 2017

Vision Correction

A very long time ago I went to college to get my degree in education.  Though I wasn't in the classroom for a long time, there are some traits that are typical for teachers that never go away.  For example, I can't stop teaching.  Until this school year, my dining room looked like a homeschool resource center.  I had posters on the walls for the writing process, parts of speech, and editing.  I have binders full of resources on writing, grammar, and reading.  When you have whatever gene it is that makes you a teacher, it remains dominant whether it's in daily use or not.

That said, teachable moments that come up in our lives are things I try to maximize.  My kids have had more mini-seminars on things before they will need them just because opportunities presented themselves and I had to take advantage of them.  This probably explains a lot of what I write.  There are things I see from an educator's perspective and I have to get them out, not just for whoever is reading this, but mostly for me.  I have to process the information and this is the best way for me to do it.  I share it because I figure if I needed it, someone else might also and there is that verse that mentions we are to comfort those with the comfort we've been given.  As a result, you get things that bring my heart peace, hope, and most of all, joy.

A short time ago I wrote a post on credit cards and minimum payments.  I've also written a post on the explanation of benefit papers you get when an insurance claim has been processed.  Today, I looked up to see the LabCorp bill that needs to be filed.  On this statement is a small box titled: Important Notice.  It reads:  This bill represents the co-insurance, deductible or co-pay amount due after notifcation from your insurance company.  Please remit prompt payment.  If you have secondary insurance please call......Thank you.

The bill has columns for date of service, description, charges, adjustments, what's been paid, and what you must pay.  It shows what I think are crazy amounts of money for lab tests, what they are reduced to based on contractual agreements, and ultimately what's left to be taken care of.  But in that little box, the part where it says if you have secondary insurance really caught my attention.

As a follower of Christ, you don't need secondary insurance to get into heaven.  He is the way.  But how many of us live our lives with backup plans, just in case behaviors, and the mentality that we still have to perform in order to be acceptable, worthy, and admitted?  It never even occurred to me how many of them I have, but the guilt, shame, and condemnation I heap upon myself when I fail at something and the resulting promises, oaths, and declarations to do better say otherwise.  And that doesn't even include the legalistic tendancies I still have in place based on convictions the Holy Spirit has put on my heart.

I can't say that I have a clear and definite answer as to why this is such a struggle.  I would think (at least for me) a lot of this has to do with the realization that, like Paul, I am the worst sinner I know. When you see glimpses of God's holiness and realize how short you fall of His command to be holy as He is holy, it's pretty easy to put a chain or two on your ankles and a yoke on your neck that He's never asked you to wear.  I can't seem to make it just as simple as following Him wherever He leads and believing that His love for me and the blood of Christ are really enough to make me worthy.

What I do know is that God has never once placed an expectation of perfection on me.  Each and every time I think I have to be perfect, that's a qualification I have put on myself.

I can't break this faulty belief, but He can.  And while I don't know how long it will take to stop believing that I need some form of secondary insurance, I will continue to seek Him, trusting that day by day He is giving me the mind of Christ and replacing my thoughts with His.

Father, forgive me for not easily believing that Jesus' sacrifice was enough.  It's difficult to look in the mirror and see what You see, not the reflection I see filled with bad choices, shortcomings, and faults. Steadily replace my thoughts with Your thoughts, my judgements with Your declarations, and my perception with Your vision.  Help me overcome my unbelief and know that because of Your great love I am worthy, accepted, and redeemed.  In Jesus' restoring name, amen.

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