I'm beset now with feelings of, maybe I expect to much. And that perhaps that's what the problem is...is me.. not what is taught. Maybe I should be content that some teaching is happening, whether that teaching is complete or not. And then I wonder, well, am I angry about it because I feel like I was "patted on the head"? I don't know all the answers. I really don't. All I know is that I feel very discontented about this whole thing.
I will freely admit I don't like topical studies. I find that most of the time verses are used out of context. That questions are worded in such a way that a certain answer is wanted, whether the text supports it or not. I like studying the bible. I do like doing word studies as I find they can be absolutely fascinating, but most group studies don't do word studies. :)
What we're studying in Coffeebreak is "discover the fruit of the spirit". I do like the emphasis that the fruit of the spirit is just that.. THE FRUIT of the spirit. They are all connected. They are all evident in the lives of every believer, just some more evident than others in a particular person. BUT evident in all none-the-less.
Today we studied chapter six "kindness and gentleness - the incomparable riches of grace".OUr Scripture was Eph 2:4-9, Titus 3:3-7, Lk 6:35-36, Eph 4:32, Eph 4:2, and Phil 4:5.
Eph. 2:4-9 says
4But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved-- 6and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9not a result of works, so that no one may boast.The question was asked: What motivated God's kindness to us?
My response was "so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus" pat on the head, No dear...it's a bit earlier than that. "Because of the great love he had".
I said yes, but...it's so that he can show the riches of his grace to us.
No, it's all about love. Nothing more, nothing less. Just his love and how much greater his love is than ours.
I know God's love is important. But God's love always has a reason. He doesn't just have the warm fuzzies for us. AND that's the impression that was given. God has the warm fuzzies for us so he sent his son to die for us.
That is not why.
I don't know. Maybe I'm being too nit-picky. But I want MORE than just God's love given as a reason. I love my son. I love him to bits and pieces. I would never send someone to die for him. I just wouldn't do that. And yes, I know, I'm not God...but I was made in his image. God didn't just send his son to die for us. He had a reason. His love yes, was a motivator, but the motivator was more than that. God sent his son to die for us because it was a way to show his love SO THAT his glory can be seen.
See, it's more than love. It's love with purpose and meaning. It's not just the warm fuzzies in a bigger than we can understand way.
It's like the tv show, touched by an angel. The "lesson" you hear over and over again in that show is "god is love so everything will be okay". Poppycock.
Yes, God is love, but God is WAY more than just love.
They pulled other stuff out of this passage to that just made no sense to me, when they asked about what good things show God's kindness. It's like HUH? What is this? Where did you get this from? And because it made no sense to me I tuned it all out.
What else bugged me?
Just the little things of equating kindness with mercy. To me they are sorta alike but different. I can be kind to anyone. Doesn't matter if I like them or not. Doesn't matter is they are good to me or not. You need a sandwich, a drink a whatever...here yah go. Yup...use the bathroom too. Go ahead. It's shoveling the neighbours walkway just because.
MERCY... is when I stop myself from slapping someone upside the head because they are doing something wrong. Ie. not pressing charges against the thief.
Kindness might seem like mercy, but the undertone is different.
Grace is being nice, and showing kindness to someone despite the fact that they deserve a slap upside the head. Offering a cup of tea to the person who just robbed your house AND not pressing charges against them.
I disliked the insistence that they are the same. And I know, it's because I like words. I like trying to use words that are accurate, and when I teach or am being taught, I think it's really important to use the right words.
Anyways, I'm feeling somewhat less angrified... But still bugged.