What I’m Reading Today: 2 Corinthians 6
Each one of us carries some baggage from an earlier experience in our lives. While we can face the early experience and try to move beyond it, the effects of those experiences can sometimes pop up and influence our present thoughts and behaviors - at least that has been the case for me.
I grew up in a very troubled local church that was full of conflict. No one in the church ever wanted to face it, however. As a result, the community was dominated by either the overly aggressive behavior of some, or the extremely passive aggressive behavior of others. This meant that church was not always a warm and fuzzy place to be.
From that experience I learned to be cautious when I was in all types of community. Even when things seemed to be going well on the surface, I always prepared myself for the possibility that there was trouble brewing below the surface. I could never relax and simply enjoy myself.
Because of this, I learned to think in very “small” ways when I was part of a community. In today’s passage Paul challenged such an approach to life when he wrote these words: “The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small ways… Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!”
Thankfully my relationship with God has helped me overcome the smallness of my thinking. I have grown to feel increasingly safe in community and realized not all communities are like the one in which I was raised. If I don’t stay on top of my spiritual life, however, it is very easy for me to slip back into the smallness of my previous thinking.
So what about you? What experience in your early life has strongly shaped or influenced your thought processes? What experience has boxed you in and made you prone to smallness inside?
Whatever that experience is, continue to follow Paul’s admonition to “open up your lives” and “live openly and expansively”. May Paul’s words come to pass in the context of each of our lives.
Til next time…