Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Art of Deflection

I love 2, the age that is. Every stage is funnier than the one before. Gwenny’s language is taking off. Full sentences and more complex thoughts. Learning to use speech for more than demanding food and resisting naps.
This week’s lesson is deflection. For example:
Me: Did you have an accident?
G: Yes. (short pause) Sissy pooped in her panties.
Me: I’m sure she did. What about you?
G: Sissy pee-pee’d in her panties.
Why do we think that what we have done wrong magically will no longer be wrong if we can find someone else who did worse? Deflection and comparison. I’m never as bad as Hitler.
Which begs the question: Who is the standard? Is Hitler really the standard? Just be better than an egomaniac dictator who slaughtered millions? To be honest, that sounds ridiculous.
If not Hitler, than who? My neighbor? My sister? Another SAHM with long-standing church attendance? Let’s shoot for the stars: Mother Teresa and Elisabeth Eliot?
I don’t think the answer is human at all. I think it lies in the God-man himself. After all Jesus says, “Be perfect therefore as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). Perfect! Not even Earthly, attainable, Grand Canyon “perfect.” Godly, righteous, never failing, absolute perfection. Simply put, that is impossible.
A perfect standard leaves me in one place: on my face before a gracious God who loves me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:20).
When I consider the standard set before me and my offensive shortcomings, I neglect deflection and comparison. I don’t need to compare myself to Hitler or judge my neighbor. We all need Jesus, no matter how much worse someone else looks.

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