This past weekend my husband and I took the high school youth from our church on a weekend retreat. The camp used to be a working farm which has been converted to a retreat center for area church groups. We zip-lined, played carpet ball and ping pong, exercised our art skills and played in the rain. Our guest speaker taught the youth (and adults) about seeing versus perceiving and how our perceptions are not based solely on what we see with our eyes (we all see exactly the same colors/shapes) but based upon our background knowledge and what we are told is acceptable.
For example; when we look in the mirror, what determines whether we look good and/or are fit to go out in to public. What was acceptable and good looking in the 70’s is not going to fly today! Why? Our perception. What our parents think is acceptable differs from our friends. Again perception. This plays out in how we behave. We are all a little schizophrenic in our behavior. We put on our different hats depending on if we are at work, school, home, or church. We become chameleons trying to fit in and be accepted where we are. As Christians the image we should be striving to see looking back at us in the mirror is Christ. That “hat” should be on us in every sphere of our life and not just when we are in our churches or with other believers.
Put On the New Self
5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.
12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
We were given examples of how perception played out in many historical events such as the Holocaust and slavery. When perception is skewed we can convince ourselves that doing things that are wrong or bad for us is not only okay but the right thing to do. Our speaker talked about his own life and how the decision to act out and be the class clown starting when he was 6-years-old led him down a path that included dropping out in 8th grade, being expelled, from multiple schools, behavioral institutions, drugs, and homelessness all by the age of 18. What he thought was just doing what he wanted to do led him to be trapped as a person he hated. He gave us the relatively benign example of simply wanting to eat what you like and how a life of indulgence and laziness (which seems desirable at the time) can lead to health issues and obesity where you can now no longer do things you want to do like breathe normally, look good, walk up stairs, or run with your kids. A few caring people in his life who simply loved him helped him to perceive that they were different, but different in a way that he desired to be. These life changing relationships led him to a place where the scales fell off of his eyes and he saw his sin and his need for Christ. He had been set free!!
English Standard Version (ESV)
Released from the Law
The Law and Sin
And now for a few pictures I captured on my phone!
|barn basement game room (check out those hand cut pillars! they even had the axe marks! remarkable!)|
Can’t wait to see all the kids sporting their creations! They are already talking about going back next year!
If you want to help me make up for the time I spent away this weekend I would appreciate your votes for the Epic Room Makeover from Mandi at Vintage Revivals. Just click and scroll down to submission #1 (My Beastly Master submission post). You can vote once every day through September 14th from every device you own with it’s own IP address! I would greatly appreciate your support!