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The black hole of living an invisible life

A few weeks back I wrote about starting a online bible study, called Pursuing God, with Margaret Feinberg. I was going to write last week about the first week of the study, but quite frankly language school was whooping my behind and I just didn’t get to it, so I apologize for that. At the end of week 1 we looked at the story about Jesus with the Samaritan woman at the well and something stood out to me that i wanted to share with you all. I am sure most of you are well familiar with this story, but I will sum it up just in case.

  • Jesus goes to Samaria (big no-no for Jews)
  • Jesus talks to a woman who is getting water during the heat of the day (big no-no for men to talk to women without witnesses and for Jews to talk to Samaritans and oh by the way, getting water at that time was totally not normal)
  • Jesus asks for water and the woman asked Him why He would ask her for water (since He was a Jew) and then Jesus totally threw her a curveball and said “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.
  • The woman was confused and continued to talk about the water in the well and He said drink the water I offer and you won’t be thirsty again.
  • Then she asked for the water and Jesus said get your husband (ouch! That was rough seeing as she had had five husbands and wasn’t currently married to the guy she was shacking up with).
  • She changes the topic and then Jesus says He is the messiah, she believes and tells everyone in the village, many become believers.

I have heard this story many times before but something Margaret said in the video stood out to me. She said, “When you are invisible you can only get hurt on your terms, not theirs.”

This Samaritan women came to the well when no one else would normally be there. She wanted to remain invisible. After her first few divorces, people probably steered clear of her. She was no longer the talk of the town, because it was normal for her to get married and then divorced. No one cared…and she liked it that way.

I too, have liked invisibility at times. Times when I know I am not good at something, I shrink to the back. Times when I am embarrassed by my actions, I go and take some “me time.” Times when I can’t imagine that a girl would be interested in me, I create something wrong with her so I don’t have to be seen. Times when I’m afraid of failure, I act like I’m disinterested or don’t have an ideas.

I’m sure you have felt the same way at times, but what does this mean for our lives?

  • Could we miss out on some amazing opportunities ?
    • Absolutely!
  • Could we get so concerned with remaining invisible that it consumes our lives and we essentially do nothing?
    • It’s sad and scary to think so, but yes.

It is easy to get sucked into being invisible. It’s easy to never want to be seen, because as Margaret said, if we aren’t seen then we can’t be hurt by those that see us.

That doesn’t have to be the end of the story though. Once we stop caring about what others think or what may happen and step out in faith just like the Samaritan women did, then we can achieve many glorious things in His name. Look at what she did, she went into town and talked to a whole bunch of people who probably didn’t even look her in the eye on a normal day and she brought them to Jesus.

How can you be visible today?

Summer Bible study – Pursuing God – Join me!

I know this is going to sound like a giant plug where you will assume I am getting some sort of payment or something like that, but I promise you it’s not. Late last year I had the privileged of reading Wonderstruck by Margaret Feinberg and I have been receiving her blog updates ever since. Well, recently she offered a deal to join an online Bible study on the Gospel of John and the book of Genesis called “Pursuing God’s Love” and Pursuing God’s Beauty.” My mom taught me well so as soon as I saw there was a deal, my interest was piqued. Also, since I am an instructional designer and online education is kind of my thing, I was curious to see how this would all work. Since I am in Germany the deal wasn’t as good for me, but I was able to order the book and dvds from Amazon in Germany (it’s in English, my German is not that good yet).

Here is the real purpose of this post. I want you all to join me. You can join me in name only (as in you are doing it on your own and we never talk) or maybe we set up a private Facebook group (invite only) where we discuss the readings and video clips weekly. Whatever the demand is will determine what we do. Let me know in the comments of e-mail if you are interested.

I have provided a link to the post about the study on Margaret’s website and a link for where you can buy them in a bundle, but if you would prefer to get an idea of what’s involved here is a small blurb from her post.

Each week, you’ll be invited to read a handful of chapters from the Bible, watch a session from the accompanying Pursuing God DVD (14-20 min each), interact with five days of homework (approx. 25 per day), listen in each Thursday with an interview on Midday Connection. For my fellow blogging friends, each Thursday you can link up your posts as you share what God’s teaching you through His Word.

For everything you only have to pay $40, so that’s a pretty sweet deal!

Join Margaret, myself and many others throughout the world as we pursue God through his love and beauty (Tweet this).

Manhood, the beginning

What better place to start my Biblical study into manhood than the beginning of the story, Genesis.

The first time we see mention of man is in Genesis 1:26-29

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.

The first thing that is mentioned about man is that he is made in God’s image (women too!) Isn’t that an amazing thought. We are so measly compared to God and yet He specifically picked us to be made like Him. He didn’t pick the animals we think of as majestic like the lion to be made in His image…He chose us!

Made_in_Gods_Image_by_MacIomhairWhat does that mean though? What does it mean to be made in His image?

I think it means that we have a responsibility to reflect God’s characteristics at all times unto the rest of the world. Think about it from an art perspective. I am no artist, but I enjoy art quite a lot. I always think its funny to see how artists would so often do self-portraits. Why would they do this other than to show the aspects of themselves, they want to show to the world? In a true self-portrait the artist will create an image of themselves that shows what they look like so that all future onlookers can feel as if they saw the artist him/herself.

Why would God do this? I think it is so no matter where we look, we are looking at the face of God and that should be a reminder to treat everyone we see as if they were God. Not by worshiping them, but by treating them with the respect that God would deserve to be treated. Imagine if you saw God, would you treat Him poorly? Would you gossip behind His back? Would you make a comment about His appearance? Somehow I doubt it.

As a member of mankind, I need to treat others with the respect they deserve whether they have “earned” it in my opinion or not. I need to respect them like they are made in the image of God, because just like me, they are. It also means I need to treat myself with that same respect.

If you view others like they were made in the image of God, how would that change the way you act?