Because I have been blogging for 9 years, I have a lot of old posts hanging out in the archives of my site. Every now and then someone finds one of those old posts and leaves a comment. Most of the time, it’s not a big deal, but occasionally, someone finds a buried post I was sort of hoping would stay buried.
Because a lot has changed in 9 years.
1.) Some things I thought were essentials are actually nonessentials.
“In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty,
in all things charity.”
~attributed to Augustine
There are a lot of things I used to think required unity. I had a skewed sense of what the essentials are. I think this happens to a lot of Christians, and I think it is very prevalent in the homeschooling community. There are things I am very passionate about, but not everything I am passionate about is a hill to die on. Not everyone has to agree with me.
As I’ve matured, I find I have a better sense of what things are essentials are what things are nonessentials based on my opinions, my convictions, and the Lord’s leading in my life.
2.) Some of my opinions were borrowed.
Over the years, I formed opinions based on what other Christians said and did. I tried to remember to test everything against Scripture, but sometimes I lost my way and held onto an opinion simply because someone else said it was right…or I thought they thought it was right.
This is very much a “new homeschooler” thing. New homeschoolers, in their quest to do everything right, look to other homeschool moms to emulate. The problem with this is that we often make assumptions of what a person is like and what that person must believe based on exteriors or passing comments. From there, we borrow their opinions, never realizing their opinions might be flawed and/or we might have misunderstood what they were really saying.
It’s sort of like the homeschool mom “denim jumper” generalization (you know, ALL homeschool moms wear denim jumpers). You see a mom in a denim jumper at the homeschool conference every year, so you assume she wears a denim jumper all year long. You “borrow” this way of dress, assuming this is what homeschool moms do. Sadly, some of my opinions were wearing denim jumpers they borrowed from someone else.
3.) I have a better understanding of liberty in Christ.
This is still a work in progress. I became a Christian in 1999 and spent many years running away from my former life and anything that resembled that life. I ran straight into the arms of rules.
It has taken a lot of years and a lot of discernment to come to a place where I can sort out what things are essentials and what are nonessentials, what things are harmful and what things are harmless, what things are convictions the Holy Spirit has placed in my life and what things are convictions that belong to other people.
I also feel I am finally understanding what a church made up of hands and feet, eyes and ears all coming together as the Body of Christ actually looks like. It goes way beyond acknowledging there are no cookie-cutter Christians. It acknowledges that every single difference we have in Christ allows each of us to do the work the Lord has laid before us. Liberty in Christ isn’t about us…it’s about HIM.
4.) I’ve learned better how to speak the truth in love.
There is a time to speak out. We can’t help how our message is taken, but we can help the heart behind the message. My goal should be to have everything that comes from my mouth (or from my blog) be said because I truly LOVE Jesus and don’t want anyone to miss His gospel. My motives haven’t always been the best, and I’m sure this will continue to be one I need to work on.
5.) I am simply at a different place in life.
You’ve probably heard someone say,
“I was the perfect parent…until I became one.”
Years ago, I made a rather curt comment to a mother with teens. (If I remember correctly, I used the words, “I would never…” <eek!> ) Well, I wasn’t a mother with teens, and I was wrong. Things change. Circumstances change. We grow and change, and so do those around us. Grace is a beautiful thing.
Perhaps you are wondering why I don’t just take those posts down. I guess it’s because I see them as part of the “growing in Christ” process. If I had the time, I’d put a disclaimer on all older posts that says something like –
Written by an imperfect Christian.
But, I figure people already know that. And if they don’t, the comments left on those old posts keep me humble.