All nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on His left.

Matthew 25:32-33

The sheep get the Kingdom. The goats get the eternal fire.

“Hey, who is Jesus to judge us?” (Yes, Tom said this, qualified with a “isn’t this a bit harsh?)…There was embarrassedand nervous laughter in the House.

Okay, who better? Jesus has “perfect pitch.” He’s perfectly attuned to the heart of God. Dissonance grinds. I can relate to this. I’m imagining fingernails on the blackboard right now. Or a locomotive screeching to a halt – metal against metal. Playing a sharp when it should have been a natural.

At the 9:15 service Tom asked if anyone had perfect pitch. There are people gifted this way. A woman in the front row raised her hand. Tom, ever agile on his feet, said “You do? Why are you out there rather than up here?” He motioned to the singers and instrumentalists. She replied with what I thought were profound words, “I can hear perfect pitch but I can’t carry a tune.”

That expresses my reaction to this issue perfectly. I know the pitch when I hear it (or the matching color when I see it) but I can’t generate it and I can’t sustain it.

I suspect this is because I don’t hear myself the way I actually sound. You know, like when you hear yourself on tape? My daughter recently called into a radio station to request a song. They played her phone conversation as introduction to the song. She called to say, “Hey! I just heard myself on the radio. Do I really sound like that?”

And I guess that’s where God comes in. He matches tune to pitch and blends perfect color, when, try as we may, we can’t. Because our ears and eyes deceive us. We can imitate, but there’s nothing like the real thing.

I like what Charles Stanley has to say about this in his book How to Handle Adversity,

“God’s goal for us is not that we merely imitate the life of Christ. His desire is that the life of Christ be lived through us.”

We are challenged to grow in Christlikeness, but somehow when we look on the perfection of Christ it is tempting to throw in the towel. Letting Christ live in my life sounds daunting but doable. It’s about the letting, and who does the initiating. When I imitate, I am pretending.

I expect there will be some grinding of metal on metal as I open the lid of the bucket of paint that is me. I’m just hoping God doesn’t choose orange. I look really terrible in orange.

~Wendy LeBolt

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