The Accidental Pharisee

Monday, July 7, 2008


"Basically, the only thing we need is a hand that rests on our own, that wishes it well, that sometimes guides us." ~Hector Bianciotti, Sans La Misericorde du Christ

I am a relationship oriented person. Relationships are vitally important to me.
This is not to say that I am good at relationships. Sometimes I am. Sometimes I am not. Relationships go horribly awry--and it is my fault.
I believe that God is relationship oriented. This is not to say God is like me. Rather, that my heart's desire just may be a glimpse of God's character within me.
And you know what?
Sometimes I am good at this relationship with God. And sometimes I am not.
How can I get it so wrong, when relationships are so, so important to me?
I really don't know.
I think sometimes I try too hard. I make it too complicated. I let unrealistic expectations--mine and others--trip me up.
Other times, I don't try hard enough in a relationship. I stop short of forgiving. Or, rather than saying, "Fascinating, isn't it?" when someone annoys me or hurts me or makes me angry, I just withdraw and think, "They are wrong."
Trying too hard and not trying hard enough--both in my earthly relationships and in my relationship with God.
And still, I long for relationship with God. With others.
And I think that is a God-given longing.
Which means, tomorrow I try again.

Thinking Out Loud: We Accidental Pharisees can avoid relationships by getting all caught up with the dos and the don'ts and the wills and the won'ts. We can avoid a relationship with God. We can avoid relationships with others that will give us a glimpse of God's grace. And yet, God's heart is one that longs for relationship. God is all about love and redeeming and reconciliation--all things that happen within the context of relationship.

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  • we are all so very much like Paul ... for what we will to do, that we do not practice, but what we hate, that we do. (Romans 7:15)

    oh but the Holy Spirit within ... what a ministry He has, which shows us who we are and is ever faithful not to leave us there!

    may we learn to live inside our questions with grace as we grow to live inside the answers.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At July 7, 2008 at 7:23 AM  

  • "may we learn to live inside our questions with grace as we grow to live inside the answers"
    What a challenging thought.
    Living inside our questions with grace.
    I like that.
    No, I want to achieve that.
    Thanks for raising the bar--with grace--for me.

    By Blogger Beth K. Vogt, At July 7, 2008 at 7:37 AM  

  • Beth, Great post! I, too, want that relationship with God. But, many days I feel that I'm just not getting it right. I pray we all are able to succeed and get that relationship with God that we so strongly desire.

    By Blogger Melanie, At July 7, 2008 at 6:34 PM  

  • Beth, thanks for another great post for me to think on and ponder. Oh how I have been there... struggling over trying to hard then not trying hard enough.

    By Blogger breaths of the heart, At July 8, 2008 at 6:31 AM  

  • My desire is to bring more grace into my relationships. More of His grace--and less of my striving. And to offer His grace to others--over and over again.

    By Blogger Beth K. Vogt, At July 8, 2008 at 7:14 AM  

  • Beth,

    i too live in Colorado. and oh how much the Black Forest has taught me, through creatures and nature, about grace and living without striving.

    the ebb and flow of life here ... its stillness and silence and effortless breathing ... well it speaks so eloquently about the kind of quiet, confident grace that a being has when they know who they are and why they are and Who made them.

    in His hands, your desire can do nothing but bless and make room for authentic living and true freedom.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At July 8, 2008 at 8:03 AM  

  • Love this post about the importance of relationships. I'm all over that one. And thankful for my relationship with you.

    You've helped me and encouraged me more than you'll ever know. I have such deep gratitude when I think of you.

    By Blogger Tiffany Stuart, At July 8, 2008 at 10:11 AM  

  • Seems relationship is important to many others.
    I still maintain that is part of the image of God in our lives.
    I've treasured the dialogue on this post.

    By Blogger Beth K. Vogt, At July 8, 2008 at 10:10 PM  

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