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The Christian Palette, Issue #009 -- The Increase/Decrease Principle
August 15, 2015
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The Increase/Decrease Principle
An evenly colored and uniformly textured work of art is boring. Some aspect of it must dominate. An asymmetrical composition is eye catching, contrasting colors grab our attention…
There is a principle at play here. Something must be emphasized for a work of art to be memorable. I call that the Increase/Decrease principle.
It is also a Biblical principle.
The words below, spoken by John the Baptist referring to Jesus, reflect that concept which, if we put into practice, will merit God’s stamp of approval and favor.
“He must become greater; I must become less.” Jhn 3:30
When the Holy Spirit sheds light on unsightly aspects of my nature that need purging, it is only the certainty of His love that moves me past cringing to changing!
He imparts truth in a manner that brings complete understanding, but often leaves me reeling! What he revealed in an instant is embarrassing to admit, but is plain as day and unfortunately true!
I am obsessed with ME.
Before this email gets too heavy to stomach, enjoy my favorite Big Bird song below.
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal if maybe you too are self absorbed.
It’s true that we are fearfully and wonderfully made and a healthy view of who we are, in Christ, is important.
I saw in a flash how self absorbed I really was, and am working to change. The majority of my thoughts are about me - my plans, where I'd like to go, what I want to do, who I intend to meet… My prayers are somewhat similar. I pray fervently for the needs of others, certainly more than I ever have. But even when praying for others, I find myself circling back like a homing pigeon to intersperse those prayers with prayers about my biggest concerns.
Although these admissions are disconcerting, to say the least, it’s worth sharing what I learned.
Far from being an amusing revelation, or something that I could brush aside as merely human nature, I learned that being self absorbed is COSTLY.
Self absorption can cause us to become dangerously blind.
Haman, in the Book of Esther, is a terrific example of a self absorbed human being. The verse below would be funny - except for Haman it was not!
“When Haman entered, the king asked him, “What should be done for the man the king delights to honor?”
Now Haman thought to himself, “Who is there that the king would rather honor than me?”” Est 6:6
Consumed with his own assumed worth, ambitions and plans, he missed important cues that could have spared him the embarrassment of what ensued.
The king did not want to honor him. Instead Mordecai, who was concerned about saving his people from certain destruction, was the recipient of the honor that Haman conjured up with himself in mind. Read the book of Esther to see what a fatal error that was!
Self absorption is blinding. When I am the only subject on my screen, I see nothing, am oblivious of the way forward and end up being pretty useless, even to myself!
Disciplining my thoughts, I now turn inward to Jesus ( Christ in me, the hope of glory!) and outward to others. It is crucial to stay alert to the needs of others since it is through us that the Lord can reach them. We are His body, His hands and His feet with much to do.
He increases when -
He becomes the primary focus of our thoughts,
we see art as a tool, held loosely in hands that purpose to serve Him,
we don’t serve the art - the art serves us, as we serve others in His name.
What we create is less important than why we create.
Our thoughts influence our art. God is not vain in demanding our attention. Only when He has my attention can He reveal more of His goodness to me. The longer I linger the more I gain.
How to be Patient
The Shunamite Woman
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