05 January, 2010

I Just Wanna Grow Up

Over the past few days, I've realized something. Growing up seems to involve growing hard and cold, jaded by the world's connivery. Did I just make up a word? Possibly...

I don't remember the first time I ever read I Corinthians 9, but I've held it up as a guideline for creating a Christian lifestyle. If I could describe my character, I'd use the word "flexible." I try to fit into most circumstances, befriend most people, for the chance I may be able to demonstrate the gospel to someone.

For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.
~I Corinthians 9:19-23
What is "character?" I decided today that character is defined by lines. Moral lines that delineate good from evil. Defensive lines that protect oneself from people of ill intent. Lines that show one's past. Lines leading to possible futures. These lines build on each other, forcing one's character into an increasingly rigid form. This process is certainly not harmful, but why do we have so many lines? Are certain lines necessary to be "grown up," "mature," or "attractive?" Should I constrain myself to appear more acceptable to others? Sometimes it seems I cannot remain "myself" while continuing to grow up in the world's eyes.


samurai said...

I've often wondered where to draw the line (so to speak) in regards to being true to oneself and being all things to all people.

For me i remain myself, but if there is something that may be a stumbling block to another i do my best to refrain from that activity while around them.

For example i have had brothers/sisters in Christ who are of the stance that one should not drink ANY alcohol. My understanding is A) the Bible states not to get drunk, and B) my doctor has instructed me to drink a glass of red wine for my cholesterol. When around those who are uncomfortable with drink i refrain.

It is indeed hard to to walk these lines. 8)

Laedelas Greenleaf said...

Samurai, I agree. I think Romans 14 has some good instruction there..."As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him."

samurai said...

Well said. 8)

Lisa said...

I think it's one thing to begin to know yourself well enough to know how you fit into a group and another thing to be rigid. In fact, I think people fit into a group BEST when they DO know where their "lines" are. Boundaries are healthy. It's good to have them and to respect other people's.

You can disagree with someone and still be a listening ear. That's compassionate - not rigid. If you are humbly seeking input to grow in wisdom and faith, you can be "flexible" enough to bounce rather than break when there are differing views set before you.