Monday, November 30, 2015

Is There A Fanatic In The Attic?

Fanaticism, what is it and how does it fit in our character?  This is a subject that almost scares me to tackle.  First I want to pose some questions.  Will the way we dress save us?  Will what we eat save us?  Will spending all day in prayer save us?  Will spending all day reading the Bible save us?   Will pointing out other's sins save us?  If you are guilty of having an unbridled obsession on any of these topics or any other topic, then you have a fanatic in your attic.  Now all these topics are good of themselves but when that is our whole religion it becomes an unbridled obsession.  We become critical of others and condemnatory and generally speaking a fanatic is covering up something in his or her life that they don't want people to see or find out about.  For instance:

I met a man in another state that was always criticizing everything about the church and he kept cornering my husband telling him all about all his fanatical ideas and he had a weird appearance and after we left that area we were told that he was abusing his wife's children.  I suppose he has been in prison for a while, but not sure what happened to him.  All his complaining and fanaticism was a cover up of what was going on in his life and he did a good job of covering it too, for a while.  Sin almost always catches up with us, doesn't it?

I have a friend that I just made recently that dresses odd, she is clean and really matches her clothes well but always has her head covered because the Bible says a woman should have her head covered.  She dresses in long dresses that don't look bad but the style makes her look old and people are always taking her for 20 - 30 years older than she is.  She believes in praying for hours and reading her Bible for hours, she does all these things to earn salvation, at least thats what I gather from our conversations.  Yet she doesn't share Jesus with others, doesn't fellowship with people of like faith and altogether is quite the loner, however she is the type of person if I told her about it she would probably quit doing it.  She is a sweet person and wouldn't hurt a flea, but she has some fanatics in the attic too.  I will end up talking to her about some of those things because it is bothering her that she looks older than she is and someone is always mentioning it to her.

I believe in having a strict vegetarian diet, but I don't promote it to anyone.  I wear long dresses to church because I feel modest in them, but I don't expect everyone else to do the same.  I believe in prayer and Bible study, two or three hours a day combined and sometimes longer, and sometimes less, depending on the time I have.  It's a good way to stay close to God and to be filled with His thoughts and character traits.  But I don't expect everyone else to do what I do.  I think in the past I might have had a few fanatics in my attic, because I believed that I had to earn my salvation instead of allowing Jesus to transform my character so that I could live a Christian life and keep myself surrendered to Him. 

We are not all on the same rung of the ladder in our walk with the Lord and should not expect others to be on the same rung as we are on.  It is a progressive journey and we need to give others the same space that we need in our Christian growth.

At one time in my life, I thought people should eat like I ate and study like I studied and I finally found out that I was being a Pharisee or a Hypocrite whatever you want to call it.  Now I allow others to grow at their own speed and am trying my best to be patient and understanding in this area.  As I have said before, I surely haven't arrived and I have a long way to go to being like Jesus, but my desire is there and with God's help I will make the goal that He has for me, and no more fanatics in the attic for me, I hope.  Grandma Joan.

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