High Chair Food: ME, MY, & MINE

High-Chair-Food--ME,-MY,-&-MINEHas your family ever had get-togethers when they bring out the ancient family pictures and films? My mom was the typical mother who took lots of photos of her two boys. Some photos were of my brother and I as babies propped up in our high chairs being spoon-fed Gerber’s baby food. And, of course, most of the food ended up on our faces, heads, ears, etc. Can you imagine how absurdly strange it would be to see me now, at age 50, sitting in a high chair being spoon-fed?

Comfortable beds and couches. Ever-running air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter. Constant and immediate access to high-definition TVs, satellite movies, and smart phone calls and texts…all at the touch of a button to meet every whim that flashes through our minds and emotions. In other words…has the Christian church in the United States of America (and in all developed countries) become the most “spoon-fed” country in the history of the world? If we are painfully honest, it is safe to say that the bulk of most Christians’ lives consist of ME, MY, & MINE—MY family, MY children, MY home, MY job, MY church, MY retirement account, MY bank account, MY vacation, MY schedule…MY SECURITY! These “things” should be, and are, important to you and I, but just how “important” to us are they? Here is an easy way to test this: on a piece of paper (I already did this and it was eye-opening) make categories and—honestly—put the number of daily hours we spend for work, family, kids, friends, entertainment, sleep, exercise, Bible study, prayer, etc. Then, put the numbers for the hours (or minutes) each day we directly spend: 1) doing, or planning, to share our Christian faith verbally with someone; and 2) doing, or planning, how to help Christians grow in their faith; and 3) doing, or planning, how we can use food, water, shelter, etc, as a platform for evangelism and discipleship, not just “good” Christian humanitarian things we do as a replacement for actually sharing the Gospel verbally with other people. Then, multiply these numbers out over 365 days, which is one year. Now, what percentage of our time is honestly used for building God’s Kingdom worldwide via personal evangelism, and personal discipleship, and mission’s involvement? What percentage of our time is truly used in the Great Commission?

A danger of being an American is our American lifestyle! We are born into this lifestyle “system,” and this system conditions us. We WILL easily become inoculated by the American culture if we are not intentional in allowing God to somehow “disturb” our comfort and reveal to us not if, but how, our American culture has, and is, affecting and effecting and infecting us. Some of the most “hardened” and “logical” and “theoretical” and “spoon-fed” Christians we may know are active in church, they are “nice” Christians. They have access to more material resources and finances than many Christians, yet they squeeze out a 10% tithe feeling they are doing God a favor when they should be giving much more than just the “minimum” tithe. Me, My, & Mine Christians have allowed the “willful blindness” surrounding our American culture as their choice to NEVER share their faith, and to NEVER personally go every year or two on short-term mission trips? In other words, how many Christians in America, and all around the world, have a Christian ministry commitment equivalent to the photo at the top of this blog…adults in high chairs being spoon-fed a diet of “self-absorbed narcissistic Christianity”…adults propped up in their high chairs, dangling their feet, living an “easy & safe & comfortable” Christian life, while stuffing themselves with the 3 most popular Gerber baby food flavors found in the jars labeled, ME, MY, & MINE. From their high-chairs Me, My, & Mine Christians use every “excuse” imaginable to not, for example, go on a short-term international mission trip. Here are some of the most popular excuses, some of satan’s favorites: “I can’t go on missions ‘til I have more money saved,” (as if God is not able to cover our mission trip expense through our Christian friends, family, and church). Or, “I can’t go on missions ‘til my kids are grown,” (as if family or friends are not able to watch the kids for a week as their parents set a Godly example for their kids by going to the nations for Christ). Or, “I can’t take time off work,” (as if they can’t use their vacation, or part of it, for a mission trip instead of spending their entire vacation on another Me, My, & Mine trip). Or, “The Lord has called me to serve just in my city & area.” Jesus Christ said in Acts 1:8, “You WILL be my witnesses in Jerusalem [local], and in all Judea [region/state] and Samaria [state/national], and to the ends of the earth [international].” I wonder what it will be like for such Christians who NEVER share their faith with anyone and who NEVER go on mission trips…I really wonder what Jesus will say to them? Perhaps Jesus will simply quote Himself using His verse in the paragraph below…

At times, in an attempt to shake, and agitate, and discipline us as Christians, Jesus Christ said some unusual and “offensive” things that cut through all of our fluff and “manure.” To separate the “men from the boys,” so to speak, and to find out who was dead serious about following and serving Him, Jesus said the following as a litmus test in Luke 14:26, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.” Perhaps a reason Jesus said this “harsh” statement was because He knew Christians, in various ways and levels, will use their family—even their own children—as an “excuse” to not be fully committed to GOING to the world with His message. The word “hate” here in Greek means “to renounce one choice in favor of another” and “to love less.” Are you and I “hating” our father and mother? Are we “hating” our wives and husbands (those who are married)? Are we “hating” our children (those who have children)? Are we “hating” our brothers and sisters? Are we “hating” ourselves? In other words, who do we really love most…family, spouse, children, ourselves, or Jesus? The answers to these questions, which are proven by our actions and choices, will be plastered in eternity as the evidence of our lives on earth!

Before finishing this blog I took a long and deep dissection of my life in every area…not to be legalistic or mean or harsh, but just out of intentional curiosity. If I am totally honest with you I must say…I do enjoy the comforts I have in being an American. Chances are I have much less “stuff” than most Americans do because I am single with no kids, and I am used to not having much in the area of material things. But, I do very much enjoy my one-bedroom carpeted apartment that has non-stop air and heat and warm shower water. I also like my 2001 Ford Escape SUV. I confess I spend too much time watching the 32-inch high-def TV some of our donors bought me seven years ago after an apartment fire ruined the few hand-me-downs I had for years (moving 13 times in 16 years meant traveling light; after the fire my “stuff” increased thanks to God’s gracious people who helped). I am also grateful for my bank accounts, and for the retirement account our ministry started for me 2 years ago. I do enjoy the food and milk and soda (I definitely drink too much soda!) in my fridge. I really enjoy watching endless baseball games on ESPN and the reruns of Friends and Seinfeld as I lay on my soft couch while flipping the channels—with tremendous speed—on my remote. And, without any doubt whatsoever, I adore my memory foam bed! Why I am not even sure I could, or would, survive without air conditioning, and heat, and clean drinking and showering water. What I would do without a vehicle, or TV, or internet, is unimaginable…these things are fused into my very being as an American! The comforts of America are so deeply “engraved” in me that whenever they are removed, if even for a few days, I am so uncomfortable I feel stressed! During the frequent international outreach trips I take several times each year, my comfort zone gets mad at me and at Jesus and at everyone…my cozy American flesh gets cranky on every evangelistic trip I take when I inevitably get jet lag, and when I get traveler’s diarrhea, and when I can’t find out the baseball scores due to no internet access, etc, etc, etc! But…I am 100% confident I would much rather be “uncomfortable” serving out in God’s Great Commission than to remain “comfortable” in my high chair eating my Gerber’s.

So, the goal of this blog is not necessarily to make us squirm and feel “guilty” (at least not too much) because we as Americans (or other developed countries) live in the wealthiest and most luxurious country in the history of the world. Rather, my motive is to ask all of us—for the sake of our own temporal and eternal fulfillment & fruit—what number totals did we come up with from the sheet of paper from earlier in this blog? When we hold that paper in the mirror and look at ourselves, what do we see: OPTION 1) honest Christians who are conditioned by, and appreciative of, the comforts God has allowed us to have in the USA (and other developed countries)…in the mirror do we see Christians who, in spite of our American comforts, are still truly fulfilling our individual roles in the Great Commission? Or, OPTION 2) in the mirror do we see Christians who have become so “spoiled” and “theoretical” and “cozy” in our Christian life that we (I) sit in our (MY) high chair, munching on and slurping down our (MY) Gerber’s, and reading our (MY) Bible and going to our (MY) church, while having no intention whatsoever of…EVER getting involved in local and international missions, and no intention of EVER verbally sharing our faith with lost people, and no intention of EVER somehow helping Christians around the world—those millions of Christians who basically have nothing compared to what we have, those Christians who are being hurt, persecuted, and even killed, just because they love Jesus and they are willing to risk their lives to live for, and to tell about, Him? So, which one are we, which one are you…OPTION 1 or 2?

For shaking, agitating, and emptying, the high chairs,

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Scott Nute

Scott Nute June 20, 2017 Filed in Blog 1 Response

Which Way, God???

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Around 27 years ago I found myself at a major life crossroads. This humongous decision had to be made soon…is it the will of God for me to go to Seminary after graduating from college, or not? It may be different circumstances, but I know that you too have made difficult life direction choices. So, you can relate to this crossroads I was at.

In the USA, when a man is called to preach, it is pretty much a no-brainer that he goes to Seminary, especially given the particular denomination I started ministry in. So, I set my plan, which was a good and Biblical plan, that when I graduated from college I would go to Seminary. I even had a school picked out. This was in the fall of 1990. About 2 years later, in the summer before my last semester of college, “something” began to “whisper” to me on my insides. In strange ways I began to sense God revealing to me that it was NOT His will for me to attend Seminary. For weeks I deflected this as satan messing with me, or that it was my flesh, or that the wind was blowing in the wrong direction. This whisper then began to evolve into a “direct force” that began to annoy me. Again, I deflected it. Over the next few weeks this direct force began to evolve into a “pressure” that “felt” like “something” was “squeezing” me from my insides. I began to be miserable, and the thought of moving forward in my plan to attend Seminary began to “feel” like it was the last thing in the world I was supposed to do. Again, I deflected all of this and fought it. This “squeezing” was now keeping me up at night, and stressing me out, and interrupting my appetite. Then, it finally hit me, “Could this ACTUALLY be God Himself speaking to me and saying to me it was NOT His will for me to go to Seminary?”   

To make this story more condensed, I will say the summer when all of this took place (1992) was not a pleasant summer at all! After several weeks of prayer, fasting, and falling on my face before God, I knew, that I knew, that I knew, that God had revealed His will to me…I was to leave school, not go to Seminary, and enter full-time evangelism. My mentors, and friends, and my mom, were very concerned about this decision (and rightfully so), but at this point all they could do was pray for me and wish me the best.

Well…if you are expecting me to say that after I made this decision final and public that huge doors opened for my evangelistic ministry, and that I never had doubts about this decision again, you would be incorrect. After this decision I still had doubts, and satan conducted target practice on me for the next couple of years about this decision. However, as the days and the weeks and the months and the years went by, and I followed Jesus one day at a time, it became clear not just to me, but to everyone else, that it actually was God who spoke to me back then. Now, 27 years later, without a doubt, it was the right decision for me personally! Today, as I write, I am 100% confident I heard from God way back then and that I obeyed Him and made the right choice!

Now, by sharing this story, I am in no way saying to anyone, “Don’t go to Seminary!” Actually what I am saying, and what I have suggested to dozens of young preachers over the years, is to plan on attending Seminary or a Bible School and if God doesn’t want you to go, He will make it clear…perhaps even “painfully” clear. I encourage every person to get as much education as the Lord reveals they are to get…plan to go, and let God open or close the door!

We all encounter important crossroads in our walk with Jesus Christ that require hard decisions. The following are some practical Biblical principles I have learned (and am still learning) that we can use when making decisions about God’s will for our lives:

  • Intimate Direction: a former mentor once told me, “God is more concerned with us as human beings than as human doings.” God’s will and direction for us is revealed as a byproduct of our “being” in an intimate love relationship with Jesus Christ. “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best…” (Philippians 1:9-10).
  • Mysterious Call: It may be vague at first, and somewhat “quiet” and intangible, but it is not uncommon for God to be a bit mysterious when He first begins to “call” us to serve Him. Now, by “call” I am not necessarily referring to a preacher or vocational ministry, but rather to every Christian. Each of us has an area of service, and how are we to know where and when God wants us to serve Him if He doesn’t somehow tell us or “call” us. “For it is God who works [calls] in you to will and to act according to His good purpose” (Philippians 2:13).
  • Desires: The Lord uses our desires to guide us. Now, not every “desire” we have equates with the will of God. We need to lay our desires at the cross, and if our desires are not aligned with God’s will, He will adjust our desires, if we let Him. God can use our desires as motivation to do His will. What do you desire to do for the Lord that will bring glory to Him, and will impact others for Christ, and will bring satisfaction to you? “I will run in the way of your commandments, when you enlarge my heart [desires]” (Psalm 119:32). 
  • Gift Match: Each Christian has at least one spiritual gift. Many Christians have several gifts mixed together, and one or more of these gifts will be the dominant gifts, supplemented by the others. What are your spiritual gifts? If you don’t know, I suggest you take a spiritual gifts test, which you should be able to locate through your church. Your spiritual gifts will fit and match with numbers 2 & 3 above…your call to ministry service and your desires will fit with your spiritual gifts. “He…gave gifts to men [Christians]” (Ephesians 4:8).
  • Confirmation: In various ways, God will surely confirm what He wants us to do and where He wants us to go. Through the Bible, and through trusted Christian friends, and through preachers, and through circumstances, and through unlimited ways (even through a donkey), God is able to speak to us and to confirm to us the direction He wants us to go in, and what He wants us to do. “Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam…” (Numbers 22:28). 
  • Open Door: By open door I am not saying we should just to sit back, and wait, and expect God to open a door right in front of us. Sometimes, a door opens after we take the initiative to “knock” and pursue and explore. And, yes, God most definitely can open doors and “throw” opportunities right in front of us. It can be a combination of both. “What He opens no one can shut, and what He shuts no one can open” (Isaiah 22:22b). “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).
  • Faith: At some point we have to step out in faith! It may be a logical step, or an illogical step, but ultimately faith is an absolute must! God has done His part by speaking to us and revealing His will to us. Now it is time for us to do our part and act…take the next step of faith! “We walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6).

Seeking Him, His will, & His direction,

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Scott Nute

Scott Nute March 2, 2017 Filed in Blog 1 Response

Skeleton Hygiene

Skeleton-HygieneWhen I say the following things they may come across as strange, lazy, or downright blasphemous. But, I must be honest and tell you that…I am “tired” (synonyms: exasperated, irked, burned out, pooped, sick of, etc.) of being a human being! Here is what I mean:

I will turn 50 years old soon (February 2017). And, after spending the first 49 years being stuck in this human flesh that is filled with my skeleton, I am “tired” of…showering, shaving (at my age I shave my nose and ears as much as my face), eating, brushing teeth, flossing teeth, going to the bathroom (especially during the night), buying food, preparing food, eating food, drinking water, eating vegetables, cutting my hair, washing my hair, removing gray hairs (from my face, nose, ears and head), putting on deodorant, dealing with pimples (yes, even at age 50), drinking daily fiber to stay “regular,” yanking out rogue hairs across entire body (I refuse to be one of those old men growing “wings” on my eyebrows) taking a daily vitamin, exercising (not much of this done anymore), getting sick, allergies, going to the dentist, joints becoming stiff and stuck, muscles shrinking, former 6-pack abs now loosening flab, eyesight fading, skin wrinkling and spotting (on my face, neck, chest…basically all over) etc, etc, etc! And now, after dealing with all of these human hygiene and maintenance needs for the past 49 years, as if all of these were not enough, in a few weeks I have my first colonoscopy—hip hip hooray! I am certain this will be a thrilling experience that I will now look forward to having every 10 years (I will just add it to the list)!

Did you know by the time we are 50 years old the average person has taken close to 20,000 showers, and has eaten around 54,000 meals, and has gone to the bathroom over 100,000 times? In addition, out of the first 50 years we are on this planet we sleep around one-third of the time. Which means, we have rested our poor, tired, weary, fatigued, flesh and skeleton with over 16 years of sleep, which is over 6,000 days, and over 146,000 hours, and over 8,760,000 minutes, and over 525,600,000 seconds, of sleep! No wonder the spirit of God living in me has become “tired” of being stuck in my human skin and skeleton! Therefore, I am officially in a “brouhaha” with my flesh, bones, and my human hygiene! Enough of caring for this flesh! It makes no sense…if our flesh and our bones just age and die and end up being buried in the dirt anyway, why did God arrange it so we must spend a majority of our time on earth doing non-stop human hygiene and maintenance?

As we know, the Bible says we are made in the image of God; however, we have all fallen away from the perfect reflection of His image. Meaning, we will not become the highest definition of being God’s image until our spirit—the Spirit of Jesus Christ that lives in us since we accepted Christ—is released from our flesh and bones at our death. Until then, you and I as Christians are stuck in our skin and skeleton, and we must continue on with our daily human hygiene and maintenance. Our human body hygiene illustrates our preoccupation with ourselves, which illustrates our sin! Yes, our human hygiene will serve as a daily remember of our sin; but, even more so, our human hygiene will serve as a daily reminder of God’s love and grace given through Jesus Christ as He was nailed on the cross to free us from our flesh and sin (if you don’t yet know Jesus Christ personally, here is how that can happen in your life right now)! Our human flesh and skeleton, and the constant hygiene, is a reminder that this life is just the first inning of an extra-inning, never ending, baseball game (my old baseball player illustration attempt)! When we enter Heaven, we will finally be free from our self-centered fallen-ness. We will then finally be able to love and serve God, and others, completely and unconditionally for eternity! Yes, a split second after death, our human flesh and skeleton hygiene is complete!

Do you ever feel like what I wrote above? At times are you “tired” of being a human? If so, you are in great company! Considered one of the greatest and most important Christians in the history of Christianity, the Apostle Paul himself talked about his feelings of weariness about being stuck in his human flesh and skeleton. In Romans chapter 7 Paul expresses his frustrations this way, “The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 7: 14-15, 21-25).

So, in spite of my complaints and the arguments I have with my humanity, I will continue on in my flesh and skeleton, doing the mandatory hygiene. I will, by God’s grace, continue to daily apply and live out these additional words from Paul, “For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live.” (Philippians 1:21-24).

With fading flesh and an aging skeleton—and with an ever-living spirit—I am sincerely yours,

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Scott Nute

Scott Nute January 23, 2017 Filed in Blog 6 Responses

God’s Back Door

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There is a story told of an outbreak of fleas that happened in one of the Nazi concentration camps during World War II. This was a women’s concentration camp called Ravensbruk. Between 1939 and 1945 over 130,000 women passed through this camp, with over 50,000 dying from disease, starvation, overwork, or the gas chamber. One of the survivors was a Dutch Christian woman named Corrie Ten Boom. Corrie and her family had been hiding Jews in their home in the Netherlands to protect them from the Nazis. When they were caught for helping these Jewish people, Corrie and her family were sent to concentration camps. Corrie and her sister Betsy were placed in the same barracks. The flea outbreak in their barracks compounded the unimaginable suffering the women were experiencing. Then something unexplainable happened. The Nazi guards stopped going into that particular barracks because of the severity of the flea outbreak and quarantine. This gave Corrie the freedom to have Bible studies for all of the women in their barracks, and she led many of these ladies to Jesus Christ! God used those fleas to protect the women from more potential abuse from the Nazi guards. More so, God used those fleas to save their souls and to preserve their lives! By his mighty power God used the apparent “negative” circumstance of those fleas as a “back door” to keep the Nazis from going in the front door of their barracks!

Sometimes God will use a “back door” to fulfill His plan for our lives! To our human logic, these back doors make no sense at all, back doors such as cancer, poverty, injuries, abuse, and fleas. It seems that our human nature drifts constantly toward a strong yearning to control our lives, to remain in comfort, and to understand more than we are meant to understand. Because God loves us, if He can’t get our attention by knocking on the front door, He may, by His grace, come pounding on the back door. I have a personal example:

Years ago, I was a dedicated professional baseball player in the minor league system of the Detroit Tigers. I had settled it in my heart to make it to the Major Leagues at any cost. God was using the baseball platform to reach people for Christ, so it made “sense” to me to work hard, and make it to the major leagues, and be able to reach many people for Christ along the way. During the second year of my pro baseball career I had a freak injury to my pitching shoulder that, for the most part, nailed shut the door for me to continue in baseball…this was a major life disappointment that left me lost!

In retrospect, I think that bizarre shoulder injury to my pitching arm was the only way I would have stopped playing baseball. It was an unusual injury that happened in an unusual way at an unusual time. If I am to be honest with you, I will tell you that there is NO WAY I would have left pro baseball to go into Christian ministry if God had told me to do so using a more obvious and “conventional” front door approach. If He had, or if He did (which He very well may have knocked on the front doors and I missed His knocking) speak to me in a more subtle, non-career-ending-injury approach, I would have dismissed it! I would have ignored it, or explained it away, or I may have simply disobeyed God because I wanted to do what I wanted to do in pro baseball. As God used those fleas in the women’s barracks as a back door to protect Corrie Ten Boom and the women from the Nazis, so God used that injury as a back door to shake me into finally considering life without baseball. Now, 27 years after that back door freak injury to my pitching shoulder, I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten on my knees and thanked God for allowing me to get injured. Long story short…the back door of that career-ending injury was used of God to release me from plan B, pro baseball, to plan A — vocational ministry!

A wise mentor once asked me, “is there any reason for you to not to do the obvious?” He was right in that particular instance, and in a good number of situations doing the obvious may well be the will of God. I think many times God will lead us to do the “obvious.” However, the “danger” about getting into a long-term Christian pattern of always doing the “obvious” and continually dismissing the non-obvious, opens us up to this dangerous thing—our sinful, controlling, comfortable, human nature! Our nature, even those of us who love God, can become very routine and busy, and without even realizing it our obvious routine can become a way of us being “lord” over our lives instead of Jesus Christ.

So…that “thing” that we continually dismiss as not being God’s will for us, well, that “thing” may be the very “thing” that God has for us, but…we may miss it if we are not careful. The last “thing” we could ever imagine ourselves doing, that “thingmay be the very thing we were created to do! Is there “something(s)” you dismiss as not God’s will for you without giving it a second thought? Could it be going on a mission trip, or leaving your career to take a salary cut to enter vocational ministry? Maybe it is breaking up with the person you are dating, the person that you are in love with, because it is not the best person God has for you? Maybe it is giving and tithing more, or starting to give for the first time? Maybe it is serving in ministry somewhere? Maybe it is simply letting God have the deepest part of your life?

Are there any front doors that God is, and has been, knocking on in our lives that we missed and may be currently missing? Has God now begun to use a back door?

For God’s front & back doors,

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Scott Nute

SNGM Admin November 1, 2016 Filed in Blog 2 Responses

Being Perfect Stinks

perfect-pic“Your room is perfect!” A friend said this to me after seeing my room in college for the first time. I asked, “What do you mean?” They replied, “Everything is in perfect alignment; even the papers and pens on your desk are in perfect proportion and distance from the edges and the corners.” My friend was right. I hadn’t even noticed this before, and it got me thinking, “Yeah…why do I have my room and things so ‘perfect?’”

This seemingly “insignificant” event was used by the Lord to stir new thoughts inside my mind and heart. I started asking myself questions like, “Have I become one of those weird people who do weird things and have weird quirks?” Such questions drew my mind to the past when I had encountered other people doing “weird” things that seemed strange but “harmless.” Such as, one person I knew vacuumed the carpet in their entire house almost every day. I found out this person couldn’t stand it when people walked on the carpet and left footprints. So, they vacuumed daily to get the carpet fibers all leaning in the same direction.

Then there is a guy I played baseball with. He was a pitcher, and just about every time he prepared to throw a pitch he would tap his hand on the top of his cap. This same teammate also took 5-6 showers every day. I thought to myself, “He can’t stink that bad…why so much showering? I barely take one shower a day, do I need more showers so I don’t stink?”

Years later, at around the age of 27, I began “RECOVERY.” Meaning, I began to deal with my “weird” quirks, which were actually symptoms and “covers.” My “covers” were connected to emotional confusion, which was connected to depression and internal friction, which was connected to pain deep inside my heart and mind. In other words, the dots of my life journey to that point began to be connected and “uncovered.” When I began to ask myself these questions, and answered these questions with honesty, my mind seemed to quietly open up, and I began to understand myself, and others, and the world around me, better.

As I look back, I now know that my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, began to reveal truth to me back then. As I moved out of denial about my issues and stopped “overspiritualizing” so many things, I realized, and understood, life on an entirely new level. I realized the reason that person vacuumed the carpet every day had nothing to do with removing dirt, but rather it was a distraction they used in an attempt to deny, and not deal with, whatever deeper, unresolved issues they had inside. The same with my baseball teammate; his cap tapping and numerous daily showers were symptoms of something deeper going on inside of him.

The more I dug into my weird behaviors and the emotions hiding beneath these behaviors, the truth came out—I was trying to be perfect! Without being fully conscious of it, my “perfect” room was me attempting to compensate for how “imperfect” I felt in the core of who I was. On the fringe of my personality existed a young man scared to admit to himself, and to others, and especially to God, that he had some quirks, and some issues, and some pain. I attempted to control these deep reservoirs of pain and insecurity by being compulsively focused on my external behaviors. I was trying to be perfect on the outside to balance how horribly imperfect I felt on the inside. I reached a point where I smacked myself in the face, yanked my hair, and said to myself, “Scott, snap out of it…being perfect stinks! Trying to be perfect is exhausting! Attempting perfection is frustrating! Hiding behind perfectionism is not God’s plan for my life! The time has come for me to stop this painful and pressurized pursuit of perfection and to begin making changes in my life! Jesus…please help me to change.”

Well, I’m sure you are not surprised to hear that this was a major turning point in my life, and in my recovery, and in my ministry! As I began to learn more, and to heal more, and to grow more as a person, it was like being “born-again AGAIN!” I began to experience life with less of a “weight” on my emotions and my mind…the world was lifted off my back, so to speak. Life became easier and more manageable. I began to experience that this new NOT BEING PERFECT approach to life was so much easier and healthier! I began to intentionally leave my desk messy and tell myself, “Jesus loves messy people! Jesus loves weird people! Jesus adores quirky people! Jesus delights in those of us who are imperfect!”

I am now in my 22nd year of recovery; working through perfectionism was one of the initial phases. I still have my quirks and “weirdnesses,” but they’ve greatly diminished and are deflated of the former drive and wounded emotions that fueled them. Even today, those old “habits” and “tapes” will begin to replay inside of me. But, now I quickly recognize them and shift my focus from external behaviors to what is really happening in my heart, mind, emotions, and spirit. I look to my insides to find out what is really going on by asking Jesus to help me. My desk today is nowhere near perfect. Actually, as I write this, I look to my right and there is my desk…dusty, with open books, objects strewn about, and all kinds of stuff scattered haphazardly, and I say aloud to my desk (and to all attempts to perfectionism), “Let the dust arise and let the papers and the junk compound on my desk…I do not care because Jesus, and my family, and my friends, love and accept me just as I am—imperfect!”

Do you mind if I ask you…are you trying to be perfect like I tried to be? Or, are you weird, and quirky, and imperfect like me? Or, maybe you haven’t really thought about such things before? Maybe today would be the day you can express the courage inside of you—through Jesus Christ—and begin to explore and dig a little bit…it could change your life.

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens [and are trying to be perfect], and I will give you rest.”

– Jesus Christ
Matthew 10:39

If I can be of help in any way, be sure and let me know. Our ministry is here to serve, and to help, and to love on, imperfect people!

Not perfect and loving it…and living it,

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Scott Nute

SNGM Admin October 13, 2016 Filed in Blog 2 Responses