Saturday, January 31, 2009

Forgetting your Story

I posted a few weeks ago about a book (Jesus Wants to Save the Christians) I received for Christmas. Chapter one is titled The Cry of the Oppressed. It begins with the Exodus from Egypt and the significance of what happened at Mt. Sinai.

Yeah, we all know that Mt. Sinai is where God gave Moses the Ten Commandments. If you've spent any time in Sunday School (or watched the movie) you know the story of the Ten Commandments. We tend to see the Ten Commandments as rules to keep people in line. However, the authors offer this perspective:

"Remember, these people have been living up until very recently, as slaves. Slavery is a fundamentally inhuman condition. Being owned and treated as property robs people of the dignity and honor of being a human. This has deeply affected how these Israelites see themselves and the world around them. What God begins here at Sinai with the Ten Commandments is the long process of teaching them how to be human again. These commands are vital truths about what it means to live in authentic human community. The first commandment instructs the people to "have no other gods." Their humanity is directly connected to their ability to remember their liberation, which is a gift from God. If they forget God - the one, true God who freed them - they are at that very same moment forgetting their story. If they forget their story, they might forget what it was like to be slaves, and they might find themselves back in a new form of slavery."

How often do we forget our story and find ourselves in a new form of slavery? I just started a bible study titled "No Other Gods" by Kelly Minter (thanks to Leah and Cindy). I'm already seeing areas of my life that I need to clean out and turn over to God. What do I struggle with? I worry and fret about big and small things. I worry about being rejected by friends. I worry about saying the "wrong" thing. I worry about not doing the "right" thing. Worry greets me in the morning and puts me to bed at night. I find that I spend way too much time questioning and chastising myself.

Notice the over-use of a certain pronoun in my sentences? I, I, I....

I need to remind myself that God does not want me to live a life focused on me (or my worries). When God made a covenant with the Hebrew people at Sinai, he called them to be priests. What is the job of a priest? It is to show the world who God is and what God is like. When we enter into a covenant with God, we become priests. If I allow myself to be consumed by doubts and worry, I'm enslaved.

Hmmmm. So, what have I learned this week? I need to clean out some idols, get rid of the doubt and worry, and start living the life God has planned for me. God is not worried. He tells me over and over in the Bible to cast aside my fears. God has freed me from this form of slavery. So why do I go back there? Because I need to strengthen my relationship with Him. If I am focused on Him, there isn't any room for worry.

I need to remember my story.


Leah said...

Hi Amy,

Instead of downloading the "What are You Learning" pic, I think I just copied and pasted it. Try that and see if it works. If that doesn't work try right clicking on the picture and then saving it to your computer. I did one of these and I can't remember which.

I'm glad you are enjoying No Other Gods. It is really an awesome study! Great thoughts that you put before us this morning

Cindy said...

It is an awesome study isn't it? Thanks for sharing what you are learnng.

I saved the picture to my computer and then download it when I need it.