OUTSIDE THE BOX!
We’ve all heard of the proverbial box, “aka” thinking outside the box, living outside the box, and so on. I have heard this term used for years and even used it often in my 35 years as a textile colorist. It is usually spoken of with the precision of a sniper using a modern military weapon, zeroing in on a target. Most of us give little thought to the ramifications when using the statement other than making a specific point at that moment. Yet with just a little imagination and application this simple phrase of motivation has the power to be a personal life-changer.
Recently (as in this writing) God gave me the vision of what living inside the box looks like and the first person that jumped into my mind was Pastor Joe Dillard. Joe Dillard has taught me to pay little attention to those first impressions, in-which merely allow me to justify my judgmental nature to find fault with a person I don’t want to help. Dillard teaches grace and patience, in that one doesn’t know what that person has gone through to get them where they are, one usually has no clue of where life has taken that person, and once you start judging you freely dismiss the commandment to love your neighbor. You mentally forgive and release yourself from the burden of caring. This is all paraphrased and very condensed from the numerous lengthy conversations Joe and I have had on the subject over the years. Through these conversations I came up with my personal analogy of first impression using Matthew 3:4 (ESV), Now John wore a garment of camel's hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. For all intent and purposes, “I” would not have given John The Baptist the time of day, as he appeared to be a wild lunatic that wandered in from the desert. As I write this knowing I’ve neglected and rejected people in my past, I can’t help but wonder, how many times have I stood face to face with Jesus and denied Him any compassion because of the way He acted or looked?
I have spent 2/3rds of my life living within the confines of this worldly box. To be more specific, “my box,” I call it my box for the simple reason, I’ve taken what the world has taught me and added my comfort, my selfishness, my values, my wants, needs, and desires just to mention a few personal items I’ve packed inside my box or as the bible calls my flesh. I was one of the many who chose to believe and see everything from the confines of everything I’d been taught in understanding from a human perspective. I was raised inside a box and simply enlarged it as I got older. I didn’t question it a lot, because as horrible as it was, my box had become uncomfortably, comfortable, and normal to me. That is until the day I became so sick, sad, and sorry with myself that I cried out to God for help. I ventured outside the box! In which urbandictionary.com defines outside the box as, assessing events from non-conventional thinking or in thefreedictionary.com outside the box means, outside of or beyond what is considered usual, traditional, or conventional. We find in 1 Corinthians 2:13 (ESV), And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. Some call it upside-down thinking as it goes against what many of us have been boxed to believe.
Imagine seeing this world and everyone in it through the eyes of God! Better yet, don’t think it envision it! To think it allows our minds worldly influence to corrupt what we think we’re seeing, rather, envision it which takes us outside ourselves to view the impossible as possible, the unthinkable as new horizons and people as individuals to be cherished. It’s a wonderful position of viewing and believing we can be one, seeing our differences are our greatest strengths and our needs have the power to bind us for the spiritual realm. Paul The Apostle pinned in 1 Corinthians 2:14 (ESV), The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. Thus, expounding on God’s ability to take us outside of our worldly box, where our ignorance becomes a virtue, weakness is a blessing, and brokenness an asset for God’s saving grace.
Dear Lord, I come to you from the depths of 1 John 5:19-20 (ESV), 19 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. 20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. I ask that we would all get this deep within our understanding and know that you are the only way to true peace, hope, and love. Grant us the wisdom to know we are created to be one in you. Amen
HAVE A BLESSED WEEK BY BEING A BLESSING TO OTHERS!
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