June 14, 2016

Your Inner Self

During an evening walk I stumbled across five elementary children who appeared to be in the process of vandalizing a local school. I took photos of the kids and some of the damage and told them I might publish the photos in the local newspaper, or give them to the police.  I went on my way and when I was a block away from the school the mother of two of the children came charging down the road on her bicycle screaming, “Why are you messing with my kids? I’m calling 911!” Please do. She jumped off her bicycle, got in my face and demanded to see the photos I’d taken. Implying I had accosted her children and said, “You’re a disgusting old woman.” Her children were privy to their mother’s menacing outburst and she continued to throw verbal bombs at my back as I ignored the rant and simply kept walking. In hind sight I wish I had had the wherewithal to ask the mother, “Are you a Christian?” Peter reminds women, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight” (1 Peter 1:3-4 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----Well, gee. No wonder I am such an irritable grump. Maybe if Peter would have included men in that reminder I would have picked up on the beauty of “gentle and quiet” earlier. This is really a precious scripture. God created mankind to be reflectors of truth and godliness, not to be creators of it. So we need to search carefully for how to reflect in any situation. Humility is a particular kind of screen for reflecting what is just right for the moment.
-----Of everything that we are, we are most responsible for the makeup of the inner self. We can be responsible for keeping and maintaining a car, for example, but beyond the boundaries of our own responsibility something as simple and fleeting as an idiot deer can smash it. We can be responsible in acquiring and owning a quality outfit, which moth, decay, wear, and tear will degrade unto the rag bin against any responsibility of our own.
-----But the inner self is different. We aren’t responsible for the being of all the biophysical mechanisms making up our inner selves. But we are responsible for their maintenance and nutrition. And we are not responsible for many thought and emotion compelling incidences like the deer strike on the highway or the bare threads beginning to show around the cuffs of a favorite shirt. But we are responsible for the thoughts and emotions answering such incidences. Pro-choice does have a proper place. That place is in the careful choosing of a just right thought or emotion to reflect back at a particular situation. That choice made one thought or emotion at a time leads to either a humble or an arrogant inner self. Spontaneity is only right after many decades of careful choices to reflect righteousness. “Righteousness guards him whose way is upright, but sin overthrows the wicked.” (Prov 13:6)

-----The lady on the bicycle needed to take her time and think this through in search of a better response. And what a calm, quiet, and dignified way you chose to end these kids’ vandalism. “Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land, who do his commands; seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the wrath of the LORD.” (Zephaniah 2:3)

Love you all,
Steve Corey