Right now I’m a little busy…for me. Our Fall Women’s Bible study has started up. We’re studying Deuteronomy. It started last week.
We have also started taking a leadership class that is offered once a year on Wednesday nights. It started in August and will end in November. It is designed for church officers but is open for anyone who wants to learn about the inner workings of the church, the church leadership and doctrine. This year there are quite a few women in the class!
I have also been writing a series on I John on my blog. I started reading a commentary on The Epistles of John by James Montgomery Boice early in the summer. It was so good that I wanted to share it. I’m about half way through and I have now gotten myself into a bit of a situation. I’m in way over my head in more ways than one.
I’m working outside my gifts and strengths
Niggling away at my mind lately has been a thought that I’m doing something that is outside of my strengths and giftings as well as outside of my mission for the blog. Can I make a case for it? Yes. I’m very good at that. It won’t be difficult to make a case for continuing the I John series for a variety of reasons as I have been doing.
But, there are quite a few reasons why I shouldn’t be doing it in the same way too.
I tell people I don’t have the gift of teaching. They think I’m being humble but I’m not. I’m being honest. I can encourage people until the cows come home. I can exhort in the Biblical sense too.
But if a person with the gift of teaching is one who can make Scriptural truth clear and clarify it, I’m not that person. The only way I can do it is to use the words of others.
Between my lack of gifting and the dance with plagiarism, I’m losing the battle. It is wrong!
I knew that going in. That is, that I can’t teach. I shouldn’t have tried to pass on this study from I John. I can’t process it all and simplify it without plagiarizing too much! Of course, I wouldn’t have put it in those words or it would have clarified my decision in the first place!
I’ve credited and credited Boice in my series, but a recent article I read on what defines plagiarism is hounding me and I think I’ve been dancing over the line in areas I try to stay WAY away from. It is a form of stealing and lying. I don’t want to do it. Of course, the Holy Spirit used that article to graciously hound me. It has been a blessing!
I have realized I don’t have the depth of education or knowledge to do something like this justice. I should have just read the commentary for my own edification and left it at that.
But it was so good! There was so much in the book of I John that I hadn’t noticed that I wanted to pass on and the only way it could happen was by using Boice’s book as a guideline because I wouldn’t be able to do it in an orderly enough way. It speaks to the basic truth that we all struggle with: Am I truly a child of Christ? Why do I still sin? That is basic to the mission of my blog!
I was discussing it the other day with Ron a little and said, “The next time I want to do this, I’ll have you write up the series. You’ll be able to do it neatly and succinctly…without plagiarizing.”
So, my plan is to continue to talk about I John. But not in the detail I was doing…and not attempt to cover everything! My style is more devotional. That’s what I’ll do. You can read the commentary for more detail.
I’m not sure I even know where the material that is mine and the material that is plagiarized begins and ends. I just know that I have been increasingly uncomfortable with what I am doing with it and I need to pause at what is now the half-way point in the series and reassess the earlier posts, rewrite them and get them in order. That’s what will happen over the next few Mondays. After those earlier posts are rewritten, I’ll continue with the series.
The one that came out late yesterday was adjusted (is still very long) but is pretty original except for the outlines which I credited. If I don’t have the old Monday post ready each week, I’ll have a post from the archives obvious for you to read.
I’ve also realized I have some failures with a few of my pictures which I’ll be clearing away too. Then I’ll just be down to the photos I take and the ones I now receive that I can use any way I want, as often as I want! Occasionally I’ll still need to buy some, but not like I had to before.
As I write about righteous living, the Spirit reminds me of areas where my life is not as righteous as I would like to think…and I am reassured of my salvation as well. It is a good thing for this recovering self-righteous Pharisee.
Because of Christ, I can know complete forgiveness for my sin
Once again, it is good to know that GOD’s forgiveness is rich and free because of Christ. It is humbling as I have to admit to the world that I fail in ways that are both humbling and humiliating. They strike a blow to my heart that wants to think she has it all together but knows at a gut level that it is so very NOT true!
Apart from Christ, nothing in me is “together.”
Last week in our leadership class, the statement was made: “Don’t give solutions from your perfect life to the problems of other people. Send them to Jesus.”
I don’t think of myself as having a perfect life, so I don’t look at others and their problems from that perspective. (ie. I’m looking down from my perfect life perspective at you who are a mess and I will fix you.) My perspective tends to be, “I’m a big mess. If you are willing to walk along with me through life, maybe we will be able to encourage each other in our walk with Christ.”)
I have thought about that statement often this week. It is sinking in. I’m still thinking about it. I’m still chewing on the “Send them to Jesus” part. Not because I don’t believe in it. But becuse I’m not sure what that looks like.
Meanwhile, GOD is working on my heart. I want Him to make this blog a place where we learn about change. I guess the change will have to start with me!