Anyone who has seen Shrek knows we, like ogres and onions, have layers. This analogy has been on my mind a lot lately as I think about how Christ loves us and molds us into who He wants us to be. As Isaiah 64:8 says “But now, O LORD, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand” (NKJV). I’ve heard my pastor say many times “You don’t have to give up anything to come to God”. It’s true. Like a lump of clay, we don’t do anything to come to the Potter’s hand. But He slowly starts to form us. We are His masterpiece in progress (see Ephesians 2:10).
I’ve seen a common theme lately of God taking different parts of our lives, one by one, and helping us chisel away at the parts that don’t quite line up with Him. Most of us look at ourselves on a horizontal scale and say “I’m not that bad. I haven’t done anything to put me in jail or REALLY messed up.” But that’s not how God sees sin. We have to measure ourselves vertically. Then we see “There is none righteous, no not one”(Romans 3:10 NKJV). I’m currently in a Bible study called No Other Gods by Kelly Minter. We have been looking at different idols in our lives and how to rid ourselves of them. It has opened my eyes to just how much room I’ve given to silly things and strongholds. Anyone ever consider personal safety an idol? Me neither- but I was putting myself above God’s perfectly designed plan for my life. I find myself feeling so fearful. Pull back those layers to see that I’m valuing my life so much that I forget who is in control. That TV show I’ve watched for 7 years that is going absolutely NO WHERE? Not only does it fail the Philippians 4:8 test, (“Whatever things are true…noble…just…pure…lovely…of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy- meditate on these things.”(NKJV)) but it’s taking up an hour of my week that could be used for much more productive things. And I don’t even like it that much! GONE! I just finished reading Glory Hunger by JR Vassar. God ever so gently pulled away a few more layers with this one. This life is not about me. As Vassar states “In God’s estimate, to seek your own glory is to seek against His.” Could God just say “Glorify Me” because He can? Absolutely. But He also does it because He knows it’s the absolute best way to live. “The life and joy that God intends is found only in a rightly ordered love for God and a rightly ordered love for self.” I highly recommend this book. (Side note: This was my “Book shorter than 150 pages” on my 2016 Reading Challenge.)
God does not instill guilt in all of this peeling. Unlike with a real onion, I’m not crying as I expose the layers. I know that as I reshape my life to look like His, it is done in nothing but love. He didn’t ask me to follow Him and then demand I change all of this at once. Obviously, I became a Christian as a 7 year old, and here I am 21 years later, still slowly being molded. I also keep this in mind as I have different convictions than my friends. Just as God points out areas of my life, He points out others in different people at different times. That’s why it’s not my job to judge. I’m just a fellow onion.
I pray that each person that reads has an amazing week! Don’t be afraid to peel.