How Many Fig Leaves Does It Take to Make a Suit of Armor?

Are you surrounded, like I am, by people who know things?

I mean, a lot of things,

like how the country should be run, what to do about complex foreign policies and intricate domestic situations, how to end all wars, how most people should eat, exercise, relate to others, and handle their money, what decisions Hollywood stars should have made, what mistakes professional athletes made in the last game, how police should solve crimes faster, who is guilty and/or not guilty of these crimes, and how I should run my life.

Like me, do you find these people less helpful than they think they are?

I’m amazed at the general public’s inclination to discuss other people’s lives and to offer running commentary on how they should live differently. And now, modern technology has made it possible to talk about more people, from further away, faster than ever!

One phrase I seldom hear in conversation these days is “Well, I don’t think that’s any of our business.”
 Talk about starting a revolution! In most corners of modern society, that line would do it.

I don’t know about you but I’ve got my hands full with my own life. On any given day, I’m faced with dozens of dilemmas and decisions for which I struggle to determine the best answer as I sort through the impact my decision will have on myself and those around me.

I get it wrong a lot.

So, I can’t imagine having the answer for other people’s lives when, after fifty years of working at it, I’m barely an expert in my own.

Other people don’t see it that way, though.

Yesterday on Facebook, my local news station posted the breaking news that Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher plan to divorce. They posed the question to viewers “Is there anyone who thought that marriage would last?”

How arrogant and unhelpful is THAT?

I don’t know why I care so much since I don’t know Demi or Ashton and they aren’t likely to be affected by the local station’s viewers opinions but it just bugged me.

It does seem to be the most popular modern mindset to be sooooooo wise that we see everything coming. To be so savvy that no one would ever pull anything on us. To be sooooo cynical that when things go bad, we could have told you they would.

We live at a cool distance from others so when their disasters strike we remain unaffected. That way we can offer up commentary on what they SHOULD have done and can congratulate ourselves on dodging their bullet.
 It has the appearance of wisdom.

I just can’t live that way.

I think in order to live that way, we need to shut off some vital part of our humanity. The part that is willing to believe, to care, to invest in people in a way that leaves us vulnerable to deep pain.

It hurts when others fail us. It hurts to be deceived, disappointed, and disillusioned. The Penn State situation is illustrative of the magnitude of pain one single person can cause an individual and an entire community.

But is the answer to create walls around ourselves, to never believe in people or ideas like marriage, community, or high ideals?

Here is where the Bible offers a perspective on life that can truly save us from ourselves.

The truth is that the world is damaged and it’s full of damaged and sinful people who at any turn can cause physical, emotional, and relationship devastation in a single decision. Self-protection, though, is about as effective as clothing sewn from fig leaves in a garden. It’s a natural reflex but doesn’t really play out.

Instead, God offers to be our protector.

“I love you, LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:1-2

Even when something enters in and hurts our lives deeply, God is able to save.

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all” Psalm 34:18-19

If Jesus is our refuge, our shield, our protector, then we don’t have to live lives trying to hold fig leaves up over our sensitive parts. We can live boldly, freely, able to trust, to love, to give, and to invest in others –

Even when we know some of them will hurt us, crush our spirits, and break our hearts.

The truth is that we can’t always see it coming.

Evil is that good at deception. At some point, any one of us can be blind-sided by it and how constructive is it for others to stand off to the side and say, “I would have seen that coming a mile away?”

Shut up, already.

Jesus can repair all brokenness, heal all hurts, and restore all spirits. If we live our lives in relationship with Him we can live free to risk loving and investing in others, even knowing we will sometimes get it wrong or be crushed by others.

Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3

Children aren’t cynical gossips who judge others and hold themselves back from love. Children are believers who run into love with open arms, they forgive easily, and they embrace wonder.

The longer we live this life, the harder it is to do but that is the miracle of a relationship with Jesus. When you meet people who have walked on this planet for many years and are still willing to love others and to believe, then you know the true power of Jesus Christ to save from all sin.

Remember that Jesus loved and invested in Judas, even knowing he would one day betray Him.

We can have that kind of fearless love, too. We get it from Jesus.

Because it takes a lot of fig leaves to sew a suit of armor, believe me, I’ve tried, too.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    post post

  2. Anonymous says:

    thanks agin, Lori – always enjoy your posts!