Sunday, November 20, 2005

rebel or reformer?

About three years ago a friend asked me a question that would end up changing my life and the direction of my ministry. After a long day of watching me battle it out with the TSA powers that be, she walked up to me during a coffee break and simply asked me if I was “a rebel or a reformer?”. I asked her what the difference was and quickly realized that I was not of the mindset to take in what she was saying to me. So I asked her to write it in an email.

The following (written in Blue) is the email that she sent me. Keep in mind that this is somebody who struggled with the difference between a rebel and a reformer herself. I think that a lot of the people who read this blog walk a very thin line between a rebel and a reformer. For me, it’s not enough to reform The Salvation Army. I want to reform the entire church. But I think that I easily, and often, stray onto the path of a rebel. In that case I have absolutely no long term affect and serve only to add ammunition to the argument that “things are fine just the way they are”.

Here are her thoughts…

1. Impulsive
2. Thinks short term
3. Destroys relationships
4. Pessimistic
5. Soft skin-tough heart
6. Can’t separate the “fight” from personal faith (ouch)
7. Damages personal relationship with the Lord
8. The “fight” becomes the mission (double ouch)
9. Reactive

1. Thinks consequences. Does nothing that will damage the overall cause
2. Thinks long term
3. Builds relationships. Realizes that victory comes through relationships. Does not isolate him/herself.
4. Optimistic. Sees the victory at the end – not the current circumstances – rises above!
5. Soft heart-tough skin. Is still moved by the Holy Spirit, but skin is tough to others comments, etc.
6. Separates the “fight” from personal faith. Personal walk continues to grow even though the fight is hard. Is not swayed.
7. Deepens personal relationship with the Lord
8. Fights for the mission. Keeps the overall focus (target) in mind.
9. Proactive. Tries to work on step ahead. Never lags behind!

In think that many times REFORMERS who are passionate, and driven by conviction, turn out to be rebels simply because they just don't do what the REFORMER column says, so they become hard and are then perceived as rebels. I know how easy it has been for my husband and I to harden our hearts and be hurt (soft skins) by other people instead of keeping the focus and allowing God to toughen our skin and still have hearts that are soft and receptive.

Well, this is what I have for now. As God gives more, I'll pass it on but just look at Jesus' life....he was the model reformer, wasn't he? Other reformers also portray many of the above qualities. I pray that God will use me as a reformer in this Army and that I will not just be remembered as some rebel who fought for the sake of fighting!!!

This is an email that I go back and read on a regular basis. I don't know about you, but I too often find myself only lining up with the first column. I hope you too will consider whether you're helping to reform or are just going to end up being one of those "guys", void of wisdom, who fought "just for the sake of fighting".

This photo captures yet another name brand rip off. I originally thought that MFC stood for “Mother Effing Chicken”, but then figured out that it stands for “Mississippi Fried Chicken” which, as you will know, is an entirely different brand of chicken than the Kentucky variety. For one thing, it’s halal!

Comments on "rebel or reformer?"


Blogger BrownEyedGirl said ... (7:43 PM) : 

Thank you for sharing that e-mail with the rest of us. I think it is very important to so many of us. I needed to hear it.
There is a fine line. Be thou my vision Lord!


Blogger anniebuck2 said ... (8:44 PM) : 

Thanks for the reminder. Your timing is impeccable.


Blogger Michelle Lorraine said ... (1:27 AM) : 

That certainly puts a different light on a common struggle. Thanks for sharing!


Blogger Neatr_natr said ... (5:04 PM) : 

C.S. Lewis said people don't need to be preached at as much as they need to be reminded. Thanks.
If its who I think it is, she has given me good advice too.


Blogger anniebuck2 said ... (7:56 PM) : 

That timbrel video is hilarious. Someone sent that to me earlier this year but, it still gives me a laugh! Thanks for posting it!


Blogger Kelly said ... (5:40 PM) : 

these ideas of rebel vs. reformer are so needed. especially among those who seem to be in the second generation of those who want change within the Army.

appreciate the thoughts.


Blogger Cari said ... (8:13 PM) : 

I have to think about this deeply. Do I want to affect change for the right reasons? Am I just bored and acting out? When I go red-head on someone, am I doing it for the right reasons? Sometimes it would appear not. I must be heard, I must be right. Self-important and arrogant, I am. Talking backwards like Yoda I am.


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