feeling or showing caution about possible dangers or problems.
In fact, our inability to find security for ourselves is so profound that we’d never find the One who is to be our Rock on our own, no he must find us. The language of Psalm 27 is quite precise here, “he will…set me high upon a rock.” It doesn’t say, “I will find the rock and I will climb up on it.” -Paul David Tripp
I am going to preface that this post may hit a chord with folks in dissonance or agreement but I think this is truth for me in my life and hopefully it can be helpful.
Be wary of the flags you fly. What do I mean? Well I mean be careful of the titles you claim and give priority in your life. The titles that you hold true above all other things and make it known to the world. I am clearly going to speak here from my perspective as a women, mother and believer, so my lens to the world may look different than yours, it shouldn’t negate the truth in the message.
I had had this post sitting in my drafts a while so when my Pastor preached on ACTS 15, It reminded me of a lot of some recent thoughts on this matter.
We live in a time where titles and classifications, the groups you belong to, the views you hold are very important, some raise these titles above all else. In a digital age where In-Real-Life contact becomes fleeting and the internet is a staple of everyday life it is much easier to find those that agree with you in all regards and argue with those that disagree with you in all regards. We start to put the groups and morals we ascribe to as a priority worth fighting for. We fight non-essentials like they are essentials and alienate every one not in line. This isn’t a judgement, everyone does it, I do it, We all do. It’s our nature because of sin but what is the alternative? Titles have always been important….. but now we have it all out there for all to see, our personal profiles become our identity, we become no more or less than than the 150 words that we can fit into our Instagram profile.
It’s everywhere, flag flying at it’s best, trying to top others flying flags decidedly. We definitely are in the Age of Digital Divisiveness, dare I say just Divisiveness. Digital divisiveness is a part of our daily lives but it is not just an “internet” issue, it’s a symptom of a bigger, greater wound. A heart issue that has real IRL ramifications. It reaches far beyond the internet, it affects the very real people we are and are around.
I will speak as a Wife and Mother and then as just a Believer. As a Woman, Wife and Mother there is an excess of words that we can give power in our life, I mean the titles or ‘views” or classifications we can put ourselves in. Complimentarian, Feminist, Liberal, Conservative, Attachment Parent, Baby-wiser, Breastfeeder, Bottle Feeder, Stay-at-Home Mother, Working Mother, Believer, Non-Believer, Natural Mother, Natural Birth Believer, Medical Intervention Believer (or perhaps you had no choice in the matter), Home Educator, Public School Parent, Private School Parent, Free Range, Over-Protector and on and on and on, I’m sure there are a million I am not stating. It’s dizzying and very tiresome. Each style, method, issue, classification, opinion, none of these are good or bad in reality, they are views each of us decide to hold. I am not saying opinions are bad, though. I am stating that when these non-essentials become ultimate, we all suffer. Our hearts and the hearts around us.
As a Mother and Wife I have been looked down upon for almost every decision we have made as a Family, and it’s ok. There is Grace more so than judgementalism and moralism. Those latter things are not in my vocabulary anymore as a believer, I try not to recognize them. They are deadly to the believer. My experiences have ranged from the Grocery store opinions from strangers about my Parenting or Mothers at a new playdate judging my Birth experience or my Breastfeeding issues. I can recall them vividly, each and everyone because they were like burning coals of shame on my head. Like the Man that told me he would call the cops on me because I walked five feet from my car to pick something up in the middle of the nicest fall day with my five year old daughter asleep in the car, window open, a stride away, or it’s the Know-it-all Mother that told me I was harming my kids because of our particular family choices, or it’s family that clearly makes assertions that make me feel like the worst of mothers. The fact of the matter is that these things aren’t truth and are not spoken with love, I don’t have to look to the worldly wisdom of others but to something else, someone else, much greater. Whether it is family or strangers, the opinions that are put forth as primary usually are not, so I encourage you also, do not listen to the noise…
And here is where I talk as a Believer first and foremost. The Truth of the matter is that our Hope is in Christ and NOTHING ELSE. Your birthing options or food choices or parenting styles do not save you. We are not the sum of our personal views and choices like our profile descriptions would have all believe. As a true believer our identity is only in that one God-Man, nowhere else. This is why I encourage all of us including myself to be careful of the “FLAGS” we fly other than Christ.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.(*)
We can be confident that in Christ the Solid Rock we stand all other ground is sinking sand. ALL OTHER GROUND, I have to remind myself that daily. There is nothing more essential, more primary, more ultimate than a hope in Christ, it is a firm foundation that can support us in everything. “The people that know their God shall be strong” – Daniel 11:32. What this means is that there is nothing that we claim that can better than claiming the name of Christ. It’s indisputable for the Believer.
So why do we turn away from this truth to try and substitute the things of the World as our own personal flags than flying the name of Christ. Foolishness, Pride, Unbelief?
When you arise, O Lord,
you will laugh at their silly ideas
as a person laughs at dreams in the morning.
Then I realized that my heart was bitter,
and I was all torn up inside.
I was so foolish and ignorant—
I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
Yet I still belong to you;
you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
leading me to a glorious destiny.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever. -Psalm 73:22
David is speaking about how his ways, his judgment, his understandings are nothing to the Wisdom of God. “To what is it owing, that men are so deceived by their own folly, as we find them to be, if it is not to this, that while they look at each other, they all inwardly flatter themselves? Among the blind, each thinks that he has one eye, in other words, that he excels the rest; or, at least, he pleases himself with the reflection, that his fellows are in no respect superior to himself in wisdom. But when persons come to God, and compare themselves with him, this prevailing error, in which all are fast asleep, can find no place.” – JOHN CALVIN COMMENTARY on PSALM 73:22
Here is some more Spurgeon to explain it better than I:
And are we better than David that we should call ourselves wise! Do we profess that we have attained perfection, or to have been so chastened that the rod has taken all our willfulness out of us? Ah, this were pride indeed! If David was foolish, how foolish should we be in our own esteem if we could but see ourselves!
So, in Conclusion, Be Wary of the Flags You Fly. Be wary of all “FLAGS” that are not Christ that are put before you as ultimate truth. Know this though, there is Grace. Grace for the Judged and Grace for the Judger. So run to him….”When He shall come with trumpet sound, Oh, may I then in Him be found, Clothed in His righteousness alone, Faultless to stand before the throne! On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.” Only one name is higher than the rest.