Still running for the cheese (or why this blog still exists)

As my regular readers can tell, this has been a dry year for me. Just look at the number of posts this year vs. 2008! Awhile back, I had considered either shutting down the Maze, or starting a new blog that would more accurately reflect where I am in life now. Truth be told, sometimes I come here, look around, and feel distinctly hypocrytical about the things I want to write. I'm sure I'm not the only one to ever be in that kind of place.
As the time in between posts has grown longer, I came to realize something. Without the past years' material, where I am now makes very little sense. What good is the destination without the journey? As Christians, so much of the best stuff that happens to us is in the times God is molding us to His image. To throw away the evidence of that process would somehow cheapen the result, I think.
So, here we are, dear friends. I think my little mousie may just have rounded a corner finally. Some things will change around here to reflect the changes in my heart. And you know what? That's ok. As much as I typically rage against anything changed in my life, I'm learning to accept the God-given ones. My prayer is that some of you may be encouraged by what you read here. Hey, you may even be challenged. And of course, if you know me, then you know you always stand a good chance of being offended too. Not intentionally, to be sure! Just know that what you find as you wander this Maze with me may surprise you as much as it does me.

All that to say this:


Welcome to



Sunday, March 16, 2008

Growth or Hypocrisy? You be the judge!

In looking back over the last year or so, I have noticed what I perceive as big changes in myself. However, I recognize that some, if not most, would label those changes as hypocrisy. That got me to thinking. What exactly makes a hypocrite? And why is the label so often applied to Christians, even amongst ourselves?

HYPOCRISY
hy·poc·ri·sy
n. pl. hy·poc·ri·sies
1. The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.
2. An act or instance of such falseness.

I admit, I am at times a hypocrite. I do not think there is a person alive who can say they are not, nor have ever been one. But one thing I notice from this definition is the phrase "the practice of professing"

PROFESS
pro·fess
v. pro·fessed, pro·fess·ing, pro·fess·es
v.tr.
1. To affirm openly; declare or claim

In my limited version of life, it seems that to truly be a hypocrite, one needs to make a regular habit out of public fakery. Now when I hear of Christians being accused of hypocrisy, I can't help but think that we do not know the state of their heart. That is where the deception lies. Then again, who am I but your friendly neighborhood hypocrite?
How does one figure out if they have really changed or if they are simply deeply mired in hypocrisy? Does it take someone outside yourself to point it out? Is one capable of noting their own hypocrisy? And if one is wanting, even striving towards personal growth and change, are they merely inviting the inevitable hypocrisy?
One example from my own murky thoughts:
Up until very recently, I was vehemently anti-Quiverfull specifically, anti-large family in general. For those not in the know, Quiverfull (here on out referred to as QF) is a movement amongst the more conservative Christians also known as Natalism or Providentialism. QF adherents believe that only God is in charge of "opening and closing the womb". They site Psalm 127:3-5 as the defining verse:

3 Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth.
5 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.

QF parents do nothing (outside of the obvious...heheheheh) to have more than the average 2 kids/family, nor do they do a darn thing to prevent any. Most QFers that I have met say that it is an issue of trust. If you can trust the Lord with your very soul, how can you not trust Him with every aspect of your life? Now there certainly are those on the fringe, as you will have in any group, be they religious folk, or video game-a-holics, or what have you. But by and large, most of these parents want nothing more than to be not harassed at the local grocery store.
Getting back to my point. I was of the mind that "these people" were complete screwballs. Who on earth would NOT want to have the joys and freedoms of birth control?! What nut actually really believes that rubbish about life begins at conception?! And who in their right mind would want more than 2 rugrats?!?! Oh wait, "these people" ain't in their right minds! I loved to read all the different sites bagging on QFers. And I really thought about the way I was raised, and figured although I am scarred from it, well, that's how most people view kids so my parents couldn't have been too evil. Right?
Right...?
The more time I spent in my "research" of QF, the more I questioned God about why He had me raised the way I was. Why did He stick me with parents who hated kids, but specifically me, so much? And after being raised faithless, having so much to relearn, how did He expect me to change? I loved my sons, but could not look at them as anything other than mistakes. After all, no one welcomed them but Mr. P. and I. No one had a kind word for us when they were yet born. And they were not planned by us. After a lifetime of being told kids ruined adult lives, and how much my own birth was regretted, why this search of "the other side"?
For every new question, no answer came. What a miserable state to be in! It's not that I felt lost from God's sight, but more that I felt like He was waiting for me to ask the right questions. You know that sinking suspicion that the teacher is somehow leading you in the quiz? Yeah, that one. In some ways, I have found answers to my questions. The Lord has indeed shown that my trust in Him is justified, and can be multiplied. In my reminiscing, I can see how and where He answered my prayers. Yes, at times the answer may have been long in coming, and may not have been my answer, but it was always for my good and His glory. That has been a powerful lesson!
At this point now in my life, I am a changed woman. I look at my kids through God's eyes. The change not only in my treatment of them, but their behavior is proof positive. I look at my own childhood in a different light. As horrible as it is to me, I am allowing myself to feel the pain I have denied for so long, and am working on packing it up and plopping it at the foot of the Cross. It's quite cathartic in a sick sort of way. More than any of that (although words cannot express how grateful I am to God for bringing me down this long and dusty road), I tentatively feel quasi-Quiverfull. I do not think I can't ever rule out birth control, and yeah, I am still not sold on the "life at conception" belief, but I see children and family in a whole new light. I have repented of wrong attitudes towards my family, and also towards my fellow Christian. I hope one day, if God sees fit, He'll bless me with the vision of my family that is hidden in my heart. I think we are well on our way, all praise be to Him from Whom all true blessings flow.
So does this all make me a hypocrite? Maybe. I can think of a few dozen ladies who would probably give a resounding yes! Does it show how God can shape and mold any willing heart?

I think that's the moral of this story. ;)

4 Squeaks from the Maze:

Sallie said...

Sometimes it isn't hypocrisy as much as it is just being blind... you are so caught up in what you believe that you are not able to see anything else.

As Christians, everything we do must be seasoned with love. There are essentials we must believe but there are non-essentials that we have to trust God with. Often times we want everyone to believe what exactly what we believe or they aren't allowed into our clique. Was that how Jesus acted when he walked the earth? What did He say and do to set an example for us.

I don't think you are a hypocrit. I just think God is working in His way and His time.

God bless,
Sallie

Mrs. P said...

Great point Sallie! I also think that there is a certain degree of "uncomfort" with people who are different. It may be a feeling of conviction when we are around them, or it may be just not knowing how to relate. I know I feel more often than not like an outsider no matter the group.
Hmmm...I smell a new blog post brewing!! ;)

Angela said...

I agree with Sallie about "being blind".

It is hard to "know" what is so foreign to us.

Being raised in a different belief system makes that even more difficult. Praise God for His ability to cut through all of it and change our hearts.

He is moving in your life in great ways!

God bless...Angela

Mrs. P said...

Thanks for stopping by, Angela!
IDK, the more I re-read that post, the more I wonder just how blind I really am. KWIM?
God bless!

 
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