Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hidden Treasure - SEA GLASS

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 12

Worn, soft edges; rare color: the characteristics of my prized find of gray sea glass. Over 1,000 ships lie in the graveyard of the Atlantic, casualties of the shifting barrier sands off the coast of North Carolina. Having found its way to the shore nestled among the many pieces of broken shells a part of history sits with its story locked away. Is the glass from an old medicine bottle? The secrecy of its source disclosed only by its color and soft edges.

A sign of maturity for the Christ follower are the softened edges suffering produces. Called to be in the world but not of it, continual exposure to unpleasant offenses from rebellious people wears down the sharp, jagged sides of our character. Love your enemy; forgive one another; endure persecution; be clothed in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. All difficult prospects when surrounded by people driven by self-fulfilling desires. Not a day goes by I don’t feel someone shove me aside or push my daughter down in the playground. But the call to be renewed in knowledge in the image of our Creator (Colossians ) compels us to be churned by the forces we now claim to be free from.

Not all sea glass I’ve collected has the characteristic soft, worn edges. It is a refining process caused by the abrasive rubbing of the glass shard against the sand and broken shells. It is a process that takes many years. Like sea glass patience to respond to selfish behavior in a Christ-like way requires years of polishing away our carnal desire to react in a similar manner.

As Christians God does not shelter us from the sin of unbelieving people, He tells us to be flavor (Matthew ) to an otherwise unfulfilling plate of self-actualization. Jesus teaches we are to love the unlovable just as we love those that love us. We are to fight evil with good. The offshoot of displaying Christ’s love impacts the world for His glory. He is exalted in our suffering.


As I ask myself “how my edges are being softened today by enduring suffering for Christ’s sake” I think on these passages:

___ Matthew 5:39-42. Have love for your enemies.
___ Luke 6:45. Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.
___ Romans 12:3. Offer grace because we have been given grace.
___ Matthew 6:14-15. We forgive because we have been forgiven.

What are some passages you think on when you consider how your edges are being softened today?

If you like this post, please post it on your facebook page. You will also enjoy this sermon by Dr. Larry Anderson at  http://www.northbiblechurch.com/ on patience http://vimeo.com/15960261