Had a little revelation…

I have a family member, whom I love incredibly dearly.  So dearly.  However, she and I fairly often have conflict of… worldview.  I am gladly, thoroughly a Christian.  She is not, and decidedly so.  Whenever we have a disagreement, she, to my recollection, has never failed to whip out the accusation of, “You’re self-righteous.”  Then, with her confidence in my self-righteousness, it then renders everything that comes out of my mouth moot, because, well, I’m just self-righteous, and who needs to listen to a self-righteous person, or even have a conversation with her, or even be kind to her, or anything nice???

I never really knew how to respond to that.

Am I self-righteous?  I don’t feel self-righteous.  In fact, I was just lamenting in my journal this morning that there is such a long laundry list of things wrong with me, and it seems like the Father has such an incredibly LONG way to go with me, that I was, frankly, discouraged over my lack of, well, righteousness.

However.  I had a revelation:  While I have no confidence in my OWN righteousness, I have complete, resolute, firm, convinced, unshakeable understanding and belief in the righteousness of God.  I believe Him.  I have seen, a million times over, His principles proven right.  I have had, too many times to count, had the thought, “Oh.  Duh.  So THIS is why God tells us to do it THAT way, um, the way I didn’t do it.  Ah ha.”  I have also sadly witnessed others purposefully choosing to do something that goes against the principles of God, and, well, it just doesn’t turn out well.  Like, ever.

So, I’ve read about God.  I’ve experienced the way He works.  I’ve observed His principles at work in others.

I am confident in God.

Moreover, I have seen His goodness.  I have witnessed His mercy.  I have experienced His love.  And His power.  I have tasted His supernatural presence — I always have a feeling of standing on the precipice of a cliff and leaning over, but there rising a wind that supports me to keep me from falling off — scary in a sense, but more on the exhilarating side of scary, like being simultaneously washed over, supported, and filled with protective all-encompassing power… and one day, I’ll be able to SOAR off of that cliff.

That, to say my experience of God is so real, so palpable, that I think it does disservice to my faith.  I mean, when there is a situation that I just have to hold out and believe in what I can’t see happening… well, I’m not very good at that.  Or, if I need to believe God, when the circumstances are contrary, that’s hard.  So, I can’t even claim great faith!!  God, to me, is as real as an orange.  I mean, if I’m holding an orange in my hand, and I say, “That’s an orange” it takes no more faith for me to say that than it does for me to say God is real, powerful, good, and righteous.  In other words, God is so real to me, that it takes virtually no faith for me to believe in Him;  it is not exercise of my faith whatsoever.  So, I can’t even have righteousness credited to myself via my faith!!

Word for word, my statement is right outta I Corinthians 1:30-31

“By His doing [I am] in Christ Jesus, who became to [me] wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, just as it is written, ‘Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.'”

I probably need to still work on my tone of voice, and be more aware of how my words are being perceived by others — in other words, basic communication skills.  I’m sure I’m doing something wrong that would lead to my family member’s frequent accusation.  But, maybe it’s not all just me;  it’s probably that my basic, underlying belief in, and confidence in God is offensive, and I’m just not going to — CAN’T — WILL NOT — change that.  So, I had to ask her to stop labeling my confidence in GOD as confidence in MYSELF.

I don’t know if that’ll work, or if my explanation of her misplaced accusation will be effective.  But, I feel a whole new level of… confidence in my understanding of who God is, and how He works, even how He works in me.  In my un-self-righteous self.


About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on October 20, 2009, in Character Development, Christianity, Family, God/Christianity/Church, Introspective Musings. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Could it be that this person is feeling conviction of some sort? Maybe this person is seeing a glimpse of GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS through you and that stings more than a little bit! Maybe in her effort to be decidedly NOT christian…she needs to shut down anything that is making her think otherwise.

    The encouraged me today…maybe you too?


  2. Karen, I agree with Tina 100%, so you should rejoice that the enemy who is in control of this person’s puppet strings, gets all wacked out when dealing with you. I sense this person is being used by the enemy as a verbal bully as well to try and intimidate you from confronting her great great need with LOVE. To continue to love this person, in spite of them being a verbal bully, is slowly shredding the puppet strings that are manipulating this person. The enemy is trying to put you on the defensive in this relationship. I sense that with this breakthrough in your own personal understanding, you are also about to have a breakthrough with this person.

    Another thought? The scripture tells us, one plants, one waters but it is God Himself who will make it grow. So please be encouraged! Plant and water with your own Love and the Love of God into this person’s life and then thank God in advance (step of faith?) that He is able to make this grow and harvest another soul into the Kingdom of God.

    I just love reading your post and the humble heart that displays itself with your well thought out expressions of self examination, letting the Holy Spirit lead and teach you and the ability to be transparent and open with all of us that share your blog.

    May God bless ALL of the works of your hands!

  3. I needed to read this today! I was letting myself get down about a conflict with my own family member (she is a believer, but we each have our own ideas as to how a true Christian ought to live). Thank you for posting!!!! 🙂

  4. Thank you, Ladies. I appreciate the encouragement, and of course it feels great to have y’all pat me on the back, but I still have concerns about myself, and I still want to be cautious. I mean, I was thinking — have you ever met someone who was just a JERK, but who was also a Christian, and they repulsed people by their jerkness, but they reassured themselves that it was the “Holy Spirit” who was “pricking the other person’s conscience” or similar, thereby using God as a license to treat other people like dirt??? I’ve met people like that IRL, and in the blogosphere… I don’t want to slip into that, and I admit, it can be a temptation to give into name-calling or whatever, and not be entirely careful about my words.

    I liked this from the Oswald Chambers bit you linked to, Tina: “We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things, to be holy in mean streets, among mean people, and this is not learned in five minutes.”

    And you’re right, Jane, I need to treat her with LOVE, and honestly, that can be hard to do when I’m hurt or misunderstood or wrongfully accused. It’s not really love to just be loving when it’s easy, so that’s another blow to my conscience. 🙂

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