When I read the Bible now, I don't get scared as I used to. Even books such as Jude and Revelation do not scare me anymore. I don't know if that is a good thing or not. Normally, I would always see myself as the people listed in books like Jude and would worry that I was insincere and would suffer their fate.
1 John would get me all the time. I could see bits and pieces of love in my life, but nothing close to Agape or Jesus' love. Every time I tried, I failed and became bitter. I was much too selfish and fearful to love. And I am still afraid of looking like an idiot and exposing myself to people. I still become afraid that if I were to be myself, people would think I was insincere and question my legitimacy as a Christian. I'm afraid someone would scare me or hurt me. Maybe even cause me to feel embarrassed.
I guess it's also fear that if I expose my true self, I won't find what I hoped was there. I worry I'll find the same dead person I was before I knew God.
When I first knew God, I could hardly contain my excitement. I wanted to be with Christians all the time--I loved them. They knew what I knew! I didn't do much, but my heart was burning on the inside from seeing the face of God. But slowly, after a little while, doubts crept in. Worry came in and some things I heard taught scared me and caused me to be unsure of whether or not I could trust in Jesus' work alone. I always heard that it was grace, but it was also that we were to commit our lives to God. I didn't understand what I was suppose to do for him and no one would tell me, I just had better be sure I was doing it. What level of commitment does he require? If it isn't 100%, then how much? 60? 90? What if I sin? That means I'm not totally committed. People call me over-analytical, but I think I was being brutally honest.
"If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone were to be raised from the dead."
I'm sure people would have said the same to Marin Luther for his critical mind. But without being totally honest with himself, he would have never saw his need for grace and would never have had his revelation from God.
I was told by my conscience to sell all I have to buy the hidden treasure, yet here in America we have automobiles, houses, television, unlimited water from the faucet, groceries stores, restaurants around every corner, schools and whatever else we need. Solomon didn't even have what we have! And I live in a trailer! No one would ever consider me rich! Yet I am. If I am out of a job, I can apply for food stamps. I have it made in the shade as far as physical prosperity goes. Yet they say I am to sell all I have, but I still see myself and them with with a lot of possessions and distractions.
And we think we know something about dedication and zeal.
John the baptist wore camel skin and had only bugs and honey to eat! Talk about devotion and commitment! Jesus said even HE didn't reach God's standard. So how am I, with my air-conditioned home, suppose to consider myself totally sold out to God? Give me a break!
Jesus said if we wanted to be perfect, to sell all we had and give to the poor. That was a TRUE test of loving your neighbor as yourself for someone who boasted in their keeping of God's law.