I’m relationally inept in many ways. I just don’t really have much of a clue of what I’m doing when it comes to building close relationships. I’ve been trying to figure out how I could possibly learn how to relate better. Then "MMM" stepped in and gave some wonderfully simple advice: watch other people. Mark was giving some sound Biblical advice as Paul does say in 1 Corinthians 11:1, "Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ." Paul is urging the Corinthians to imitate his actions to learn how to minister. The sad thing for me is that I do not like imitating people. I’ve been called an iconoclast. I like to be different. I like to analyze the nuances of many things, including how people relate and minister. When doing that, I also tend to focus on the negative, often failing to see the wonderful gifts that God has bestowed upon many people in the Body of Christ that are used for ministry. As I’ve been reflecting, it is a bit arrogant for me to think I can come up with my own plan for ministry without taking from others. If something I see is good, I need to learn how to imitate it rather than try to form it into something different! Essentially, this comes down to letting down my pride and realizing that someone can be better than the Domanator, and in fact, I need to learn a lot from others on how to relate and do ministry. If I want to do good, I can just try to simply imitate. That will get me somewhere.
Mark’s advice was extremely simple yet so profound and Biblical, and he used many passages I was already familiar with. I like to think I’m so enigmatic, and no one can ever really figure out what’s going on with me because I’m so complicated. I’m just like everyone else, however. I have deep sin issues. The devil tries to cloud things up and make things enigmatic, but as Hebrews 4:12-13 says, "the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do."
I’m a person that often enjoys discovery. My idea of a good vacation is usually going somewhere different and doing something out of the ordinary. For example, although I think Fernandina Beach is really a great place that I would recommend to others, I can’t get much more out of it. Many people like to relax on their vacation, but I like vacation as an opportunity to see something new and different that I’m not doing all of the time (Don’t take this as a complaint about spring break plans. At this point, I have no alternative to suggest. This example simply illustrates my feelings). I am always trying to discover the best of what the world has to offer (cars, food, alcohol, camping chairs, etc.), but I spend little time discovering the nuances of God! I hope to cultivate the same kind of attitude with God.
"More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,"
The word there for rubbish is skubalon. Skubalon is described "any refuse, as the excrement of animals, offscourings, rubbish, dregs and of things worthless and detestable," so it could be translated in other ways. The value of the world must be detested. It is worth poop from Fort Clinch raccoons.
1 Corinthians 1:18-30
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:
"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."
Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.
Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."
Focusing on worldly wisdom is dangerous. I have a lot of it to pass on. Sometimes it helps people, but a lot of times it does not coincide with spiritual wisdom and often is in conflict because the wisdom of God is backward! I am realizing that I need to spend much less time discovering the wisdom and nuances of the world, and discover more about the grandeur of God’s grace – which is what has allowed me to have more success in the world anyway.