What is a “Supergirl” you ask? Well, you are—we are! Through the life-saving work of our Savior, we who believe in Him are all Supergirls. However, too many times this world, the devil, and our own sinful flesh tempt us to think otherwise. It’s the same tired old formula first used on Eve, and she was living in Paradise! So you can imagine all too well how it tries to work on us living in this fallen world—but take heart, the Son of God has overcome this world (John 16:33)!
Kelly Reed-Heuer is our Supergirl with the incredible gift of sharing moments in her life with Jesus that are at times painful, funny, and always soul searching. They are unvarnished and spoken from an open heart for her Supergirl sisters in Christ. May the Lord bless your time with Kelly in ways that only He has already planned just for you!
Doing my classwork today I came across the word “fossilization”. In the context I was reading, it wasn’t describing the process by which a dinosaur bone or a trilobite turns to stone, it was referring to correct linguistic features in the first language transferring to the second language and becoming permanent errors. As language teachers, we need to be very careful in our instruction to eliminate or minimize this tendency. It’s sometimes funny when they do this and a rash of text messages with the error is shared amongst teachers, but, if it’s not caught and corrected, the end result can actually be rather disastrous for the students’ acquisition process.
In the church culture, we learned a second language called, “Christianese.” Words like “faith”, “sin”, “communion”, “condemnation”, “salvation”, “pulpit”, “sanctuary”, “pew”, “fellowship hall”, “sacristy” … serve to speak Christian principles and values. We know their meanings and use them frequently and quite well. Sadly, fossilizations have creeped into what is believed to be the norm. With all that is happening in the world today, the one that stands
out to me the most is this: “Everything happens for a reason.”
We routinely suffer things in life that just make no sense and are completely unbearable. Rape, murder, cancer, racism. What is the reason for that happening?
In Romans 8:28 some confuse “… work all things for the good of those who love him…” with there being a logical explanation. Yes, God will use it and make even the most heinous of things work for your good, but does that mean it was His will. What it means is that He will take all of our suffering and use it to accomplish good in the lives of those who believe.
Right now, in the US, we are suffering. We are being buffeted about from every direction. Illness, lawlessness, cruelty, racism, shaming, bullying, blaming… The list is long of how we as a nation are suffering, how we as Christians are suffering and, sadly, sometimes contributing to the suffering. It is becoming increasingly difficult to see how God will work this for the good.
God will use even this to His purpose, He will use it, ultimately, for the good of us who believe. Will we like how that good feels? Maybe not, but good doesn’t always feel good and that’s ok. Just trust that whatever He does, it will work out for our good.
In the meantime, let’s not add fuel to the fire. “… Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37-40
And please, can we start double checking the language of Christianese and fixing the errors?
168. When my niece was younger, I would sometimes call her “brown girl”. One day she told me it made her feel bad and asked me why I did it. I explained to her that her mocha skin was beautiful to me, that I wanted her to know that I saw all of her, that she should be proud of the physical expression of her heritage, that the exterior thing that makes her different from me (we look nearly identical) was spectacular. Wrapped up in her cinnamon colored skin is a beautiful being, a generous heart, a brilliant mind, a spectacular sense of humor. Under the melanin lies a human being, a woman, who cries when others hurt, who laughs when others smile, who loves deeply and profoundly. Most importantly, within the chestnut confines of her skin, is a child of God.
Recent events have had me pondering all of this, thinking about how we delineate based on external factors that have nothing to do with the interior. Who did Jesus come here for? Who did Jesus die for? Did he refuse to talk to the Samaritan woman because she wasn’t a Jew? Did he instruct us to teach only the Jewish nations?
Could you imagine a world where salvation and redemption were withheld from you based on the color of your skin, your heritage?
I cannot imagine living in a world where the worst is assumed of me for no other reason than genetics. I can’t fathom the pain of being suspected, looked at askance, and passed over because of my ancestry. I cannot comprehend the humiliation of the belief that I am not educated or capable. If you, like me, cannot truly appreciate the weight of a daily existence like that, perhaps it’s time for us to go back to the song, “Jesus loves me”. Remember the list of those who are precious in his sight?
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son… (John 3:16)
167. I don’t know about the rest of you but, I’m tired. I’m tired of being told that I’m a bad person for my political views; that I’m a gullible fool for my religious beliefs; that I’m less than others for my professional choices. I’m tired of having every parenting mistake paraded in front of me. I’m exhausted by the lectures of what a sheep I am if I choose to wear a mask or that I am essentially a murderer if I don’t. I grow weary of the judgement of a society that simultaneously cries out against judgement. The hypocrisy oozing out of every dark corner of our culture wears me down.
That same culture accuses us, as Christians, of being hypocrites. And you know what, they’re sort of right. But they’re also way, way wrong. Paul talks about this in what many of us affectionately call the “do-do” verses.
Romans 7:15-20: I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I
myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
We know what is right and what is wrong. We both willfully and accidentally do wrong. But does that make us hypocrites? I don’t think so. Here’s why…
I was a teen mom. I willfully committed wrong that resulted in pregnancy. Is it hypocritical of me to talk about it and tell others to not do it? Only if I believe it was right for me, that I did no wrong, but that it is wrong for others to do so. That is hypocrisy.
What Paul is talking about is not living a different set of standards for oneself, but rather the failure to live up to those standards. He’s reminding us of the promise that we are forgiven, even in our own inability to deserve it. Look at verse 20, “Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.” and compare it to Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Are we going to mess up? Yes. Are we going to constantly do wrong? Yes. Are we going to revel in it and declare it is ok for us but not anybody else? We’d better not. Let’s not be a part of the culture that is wearing us down and making us tired. Let’s rise above and bring as many with us as we can.