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Man overboard! March 19, 2011

Posted by Gordon Brock in Uncategorized.
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I am reading a book called ‘Searching for God Knows What’. The author writes about searching for Jesus of the Bible, and learning that Jesus is a relationship and not a religion as presented to him by the todays Christian ‘system’. One of the author’s premises is that Adam and Eve got their value and self-worth from an external source, that is, the Lord. Then there was ‘the fall’, and man no longer had an intimate connection with God. So if man was meant to get his value from an external source, and the Lord was no longer “with us” to give it to us, then man would start getting his value from another external source, that is, other men. So man became reliant on man for value and self-worth, and hence he is constantly seeking approval from others, and/or trying to be ‘better than’ others. Only when we come back to right relationship with the Father through belief in Christ, can we see that our value and self-worth should come from the Father, and we really shouldn’t care what man thinks of us, and we really shouldn’t try to be better than the next guy.
The author goes on to reference the old ‘Values Clarification’ teaching, with the lifeboat analogy. Are you familiar with this (and do you remember the hecka funny Steve Taylor song about it)? The lifeboat analogy is where there are certain types of people in the lifeboat, and there are too many to keep the boat afloat, and you are to decide which persons are valued enough to keep in the boat, and which persons are to be tossed overboard. The author says that mankind after the fall has been living a Lifeboat scenario, each person striving to be judged valuable enough by men to be kept in the boat. He says Jesus came, and turned that scenario upside-down, as if Jesus wasn’t even aware there was a lifeboat, which there wasn’t for Him because like the First Adam, He got His value and self-worth directly from the Father. Jesus taught “turn the other cheek”, “give the man your tunic as well”, “consider others better than yourself”, “be the servant of all”, and “love your neighbor”, all of which contradict the “look out for number one”, “king of the hill”, and “he with the most toys” crap our society puts on us.
While reading this, I started to think about the two types of personalities known as introvert and extrovert. Introvert is AKA “shy” or “quiet”, and extrovert is AKA “outgoing” or “friendly”. It occurred to me that both of these seemingly opposite traits stem from the same thing- the fear of what men think of us. An introvert is afraid of what others think of them, so they hide inside themselves and don’t get close enough to be judged. An extrovert is afraid of what others think of them, so they will proactively be funny and show-offy to make people like them and judge them favorably. What’s interesting is that both of these subconscious tactics can backfire – an introvert can be perceived as stuck up, and thus not liked (valued), and an extrovert can be perceived as an obnoxious jerk, and thus not liked (valued). Both types are living their lives as to not be tossed out of the lifeboat, and most likely they developed these traits at a very early age since the need for value is inherent in our humanness. I was an extrovert, the class clown, the show-off, because I learned somewhere that if people laugh at you, they like you, and I obviously wanted people to like me. I got to a point in my late teens that I didn’t care what people thought of me, but it wasn’t because I found the Lord, it was because I became conceited. I had found my self-worth in the fact that I liked me, I believed in me, and I wasn’t going to let anyone tell me different.
I have since found my value in Christ and how Abba values me as His child, even before I read this book, but this book helped me to understand it more fully as it began in the Garden. I now believe the joy of the Spirit gives me an outgoing, approachable personality, without fear of man’s judgement. I only care of what others think of me as it pertains to how I want them to see Jesus in me. I like the cliche, “what you see in me that you like, is Jesus, and what you see in me that you don’t like, is Gordon”.
Are you living in the lifeboat, or have you given Abba back the power of providing your value and self-worth? Think about it…..

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