Sunday, July 31, 2011

Knowing Better, Part 1

Last month, I had the opportunity to take a friend to the Beth Moore conference in Lincoln. I've never done a Beth Moore study, so I didn't really know what I was getting in to. The time spent getting to know my friend better was priceless. The worship was amazing. And the message was timely on so many levels.

Beth did a word study of the word "better." She had done a poll via Twitter about the connotation the word "better" had for people. I scratched my head and thought, "how can better be a bad thing." Then she shared ideas like "you can do better" or "I'd be better off...."

So she started with the thought that there is a better that is bitter, and there is a better that is better.

This post will focus on when better is bitter.

Better is bitter

  • When better is before. That is, when you are caught in the past and can't take a step forward.
This one gave me cause to ponder. How many times do I compare my current circumstances to life before I moved here? It's not that Nebraska is so horrible. It really isn't. But it's also not Oregon. However, is the Oregon in my memory the Oregon that would be reality for me if I lived there? Probably not.
  • When better is someone besides me.
Ouch. How often do I play the comparison game? I'm so competitive, and it's hard for me to let go and let someone be better than me. Do I think of others as better in a prideful (bitter) or humble (better) way? Someone being better doesn't make me worse, it makes me second. That's an interesting way to think about it.
  • When better is the route I didn't take.
How many regrets do I have that are eating me up? Beth shared that the word "better" is used most by Solomon. He said it 21 times in the book of Proverbs (better is ____ than _____). This was when his life was working out pretty well. He also used it 23 times in the much shorter book of Ecclesiastes. This was written after a time of chastisement from the Lord, and he was very depressed. (I would have been better off dead...)
  • When better is what you should have known.
Yeah...I kick myself all the time for stupid things I say and do, knowing "better." There's a difference between when you should have known better (foolishness) and when you did know better and did it anyway (failure).

So...little did I realize just how bitter I could be when God had something much better in store for me.

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