What Defines Me?

So a great friend of mine emailed me this the other week. She and I share a passion for Brennan Manning and realize as she says, when he speaks you listen. Here is a portion of her email to me:

Got this from a friend and “thought” of you so I am forwarding it on:

Just thinking….cause you HAVE TO every time you read anything that Brennan Manning, writes!

…The Rabbi (that would be Jesus for us western/modern Christians) implores, “Don’t you understand that discipleship is not about being right or being perfect or being efficient? It’s all about the way you live with one another.” The success or failure of a given day is measured by the quality of our interest and compassion toward those around us. We define ourselves by our response to human need. The question is not how we “feel” about our neighbor, but rather what we do with that “feeling”, for him or her! We reveal the person of Christ every time we bear an injury, share our resources with the indigent, or our time with the less fortunate. It’s easy—read the RED LETTERS and do what He did!
But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to You, What I have vowed I will make good. Jonah 2:9

Here is how I responded to her… then some further thoughts:

Just read this… when I perceive an email to have a MSG that I wanna ponder, I’ll wait to read it until I can ponder it. I saw Brennan Manning & decided to wait.

Very powerful. I instantly think not just about my neighbor but to my family. My family is the biggest legacy I leave behind. (been reading a lot on this orange thingy so it’s got me all choked up on the role/responsibility of Godly parenting)

We define ourselves by our response to human need… sadly by this definition I don’t amount to much often.

More thoughts of mine:

So I find myself implicitly aware of my own crappiness. I find that I too often get hung up on the sinner that I am and I don’t think about the saint that I am when I allow the blood of Christ to permeate every aspect of my life. Paul reminds us on multiple occasions not to think too highly of ourselves, but I think that he would also argue that it does no good to be so consumed with our brokenness that we don’t allow Christ to use us. If I wait until I’m ‘fixed’ enough to be used, God will never use me… because until I die and go to Heaven I’ll never be that fixed.

Reminds me sometimes of the song that goes,

Sometimes I don’t mind
How hateful that I can be

Sometimes I don’t try
To make you happy
I don’t know why I do the things I do to you but…

Sometimes I don’t wanna be better
Sometimes I can’t be put back together
Sometimes I find it hard to believe
There’s someone else who could be
Just as messed up as me

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