Good morning!

Maybe you feel like me at times. You know that bumper sticker "not of this world"? The dichotomy of living IN the world and not being OF the world is a sticky balance that doesn't always feel settled to me. I am thinking that we are meant to live in that tension, though.

Jesus lived in that tension while He was on earth. He was set apart on His mission for God but He was also one of them. He knew He was going to be rejected by His own people but He had that mission that was overriding. In Matthew 23:37 He talks about that feeling:

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.

The reason I bring up this living in the world/not of the world is that I am so passionate about people and how their life experiences have shaped how they think, which then shapes how they act. I think it's so interesting how we each interpret life. Maybe that interest is why I got my degree in Behavioral Science.

Some people from very dire upbringings have this resilient character that confounds you. Other people in dire upbringings live dire lives. How does that happen? On the other side, people who are super privileged and have tons of worldly wealth still are empty and commit suicide while others use their privileged position to help others. Interesting.

As I think about all of this, in many ways I think it boils down to what we see the point of life to be. That focus shapes everything. Jesus had a focus on His mission and even though He dealt with tons of rejection and bad treatment, He still kept on.

Nowadays, so many people look at God through the passages they glean out of the Old Testament where He is angry. Perhaps they hold onto that perspective because of pain from their upbringings that is consistent with their mindset and focus.

I've been in Jeremiah recently and oh how God laments the people choosing everything but Him as their focus. They were even sacrificing their children to these gods that did nothing for them. He knew what was best for them but they kept turning to other dumb stuff that ended up leaving them devastated.

When you really look at that "angry God" from that perspective, wouldn't YOU be angry too? Wouldn't you be so heartbroken that your loved ones were choosing everything that hurt them instead of the One thing that would help them?

That was Jeremiah's passion help his people see what was best for them. He was being used by God to live IN the world but not OF the world to help the people see.

I believe that is what we are ALL called to do! Are you?

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