Saturday, September 17, 2011

An Odd Duck

“He’s kind of an odd duck,” is a phrase my father often used when describing a person.  The phrase was followed by a story that gave an example of how “odd” that particular person was.

I would like to remind everyone that we all are odd ducks.

We are all a little bit different, likes and dislikes that mix and match, but never perfectly.  Beloved Husband is (and has been for 50 years) my best friend.  However, I can’t fix and feed him my favorite foods.  That alone makes him a kind of an odd duck, doesn’t it?

I love my little PT Cruiser.  I like the front wheel drive, the large (for that size car) cargo area – it holds a wheel chair and still has room for more ‘stuff’, which I’m always carrying.  Beloved Husband finds it confining, now that I’m doing all the driving, and to me, that’s another sign of an odd duck.  Ok, so it really might mean that I’m the odd duck!!

It’s okay to be that odd duck, as long as we don’t expect every one to be the same.  Jesus spoke about this:

For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. (Matthew 7:2 KJV)

A lot of people refer to the previous verse and neglect this one. They would prefer not to judge.  Even if one takes it that far, we’re still supposed to be fruit inspectors:

For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. (Luke 6:44 KJV)

Christians are told the type of fruit they should be putting out for inspection:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 KJV)

It’s not a long list, and Paul even shortened it later:

(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) (Ephesians 5:9 KJV)

Paul also understood that while all Christians are striving for perfection through Christ, he had not achieved it, and I don’t know anyone who has.  He continued to follow after it:

Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am  apprehended of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12 KJV)

Expect your fruit to be inspected.  Be prepared to inspect others. Do not however, toss irregular fruit, accepting only perfection here on this earth.  That’s why we must judge other’s fruit by the same standards we expect them to judge ours. We must measure their words and actions as we expect ours to be measured.

Frankly, I need some mercy and grace when mine are inspected! There are bitter vines that set teeth on edge.  There are times when I try to protect them when the Lord comes to prune.  If I let Him lop them off, it will create sweeter, fuller fruit of the spirit.

Then, I might not be such an odd duck.

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