How to Make It Personal

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John’s post yesterday, “It’s Really Not Personal,” ended with a caveat: For “it’s not personal” to be true, we have to be “not I but Christ” in actuality. So how do I make it personal?

How to Make It Personal
…that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,
 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4:22-24 NKJV

Just put this bit of scripture in reverse. To make it personal, it just has to be “not Christ but I” driving the boat.

There’s No Need to Make It Personal

Make It Personal back into the grave
There is no valid excuse in existence for diving back into my own grave to resurrect my putrid corpse. I will never be driven by great need to abandon the Holy Spirit’s leading and take the reins. I can try to justify myself in my disobedience and selfishness (and I’m no stranger to this quixotic quest) but I cannot do so successfully as long as I love the truth. When I shrug off the new in favor of my old dung-covered rags, I’m on the enemy’s ground.

If someone mocks me and I respond with equal or greater mockery and earn their enmity, it’s not Christ that they’re targeting; it’s me and my hard heart and sharp tongue they’re attacking. It’s personal, because I was the one to make it personal.

I often say that I have a ministry of apology (a pretty funny title in light of my last post), and most of it consists of admitting to customers of LivingChristianBooks.com that I made a mistake with their order. But it really should be called the ministry of repentance, because the non-office related portion of this ministry concerns the times when I’ve abandoned the Holy Spirit and hurt people.

Why We Shouldn’t Make It Personal

Every single time that I get personally and defensively involved in an offense against me, I extinguish the move of Jesus Christ in me toward that person. God moves on a million micro-levels at a time in every situation I encounter. There’s teaching and testing and sanctifying and healing and correcting and illustrating and so much more, but in it all and through it all and ABOVE it all is Love. Love is the reason and the rhyme for me and for whomever God allows to encounter me. When I make it personal, I quench the Love that is meant to flow out of the vessel He created me to be.

Why We Shouldn’t Make It Personal One Eyed Donkey
“You know, when you called me the slow-witted offspring of a one-eyed donkey and its incontinent cousin, I met Jesus and was utterly changed!” said no one ever. And that’s what the Spirit reminds me of again and again and again. If Martha and John and countless precious others had made it personal where I was concerned, I wouldn’t be here. We don’t have to make it personal and we shouldn’t, because it’s more than just our own lives on the line. God forgive me for losing sight of that! I’m so grateful that our Father never does.

And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”
1 Peter 4:8 NKJV

Comments:

Posted by Susan
March 21, 2016 at 10:28 am

1 Cor 13 !!!
Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited, does not act improperly, is not selfish, is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
(about one another)

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Posted by Sam
March 18, 2016 at 12:28 pm

I can try to justify myself in my disobedience and selfishness (and I’m no stranger to this quixotic quest) but I cannot do so successfully as long as I love the truth.

I remembered right now a Gene Edwards expression in his book “Cruficied by Christians”. I don’t remember exactly, but he said something that remained with me.

Right after He was risen, we find not a single word in His lips regarding the pain, anguish and awful time He just had been through. Not a single word to the unfair and brutal treatment He had just received from us all.

As it had never happened.

Obviously to get through such an unfair ordeal as He suffered with no bad memories or bitterness you cannot take it personal… at all. You cannot put on that luxury.

May He imprint in us all that same Spirit of forgiveness. An awesome testimony of lambness.

Love you Lord.

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Posted by tammy
March 18, 2016 at 5:52 am

Oh Jen!
As I sit and journal in response to your blog this morning, wondering if He’ll have me post my response…I hear “Well at least it’s on topic this morning. It is ALL personal.” LOL! So grateful for Gods sense of humor and His lessons through you! But I think I’ll just leave my thoughts here on my own paper this morning.

Love!

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    Posted by tammy
    March 18, 2016 at 5:57 am

    …felt the need to clarify…
    My journaling in response to today’s blog ended up being all about me, me, me.

    Reply
Posted by LA
March 18, 2016 at 5:10 am

Jennifer, this post, along with John’s post yesterday, touches on so great a truth!–one that I and many others in a the body of Christ are living out daily. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for opening the eyes of our hearts!

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