Posted by: mikenicholsblog | June 8, 2011

posture issues

The world we find ourselves in seems so obsessed with posture.  Not the “sit up straight” kind that our mothers and teachers insisted on.  No, I’m speaking of the confrontational, stand up straight so I appear bigger than you, drive to the very end of the merging lane so I can get 2 cars farther ahead of you, kind of posture.  We seem to be bombarded daily, and from multiple sides with these types of attitudes.  And it’s hard sometimes not to get caught up in all of it, and find ourselves with shorter fuses and “me” to the second power type thoughts.

A friend was recently sharing a lament about how challenging it was to raise two young and athletic men in this type of culture.  He shared how he spent more time than he could count correcting and instructing while simply watching professional sporting events.  Kids naturally emulate pro athletes, and he has witnessed behaviors in both recreational sports and backyard wiffle ball and nerf football games where kids sought to draw undeserved attention to themselves, or intentionally intimidate other players or neighborhood friends.  While I suppose these kinds of selfish behaviors have been around for thousands of years, I think it’s safe to say Moses didn’t ever consider changing his name to the Spanish equivalent of the number of plagues, or whip out a Sharpie pen to sign his staff after the Red Sea crashed in on the Egyptians.

I was reminded of our modern posture issues as I read in the book of Colossians this week.  Listen to the words of Colossians 3 …

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 

And over all these virtues put on love…

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…

Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands…
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
Children, obey your parents in everything…
Fathers, do not embitter your children…
Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything… 

A bit different posture than what is mainstream and celebrated these days, wouldn’t you say?!  Submit, love, obey, forgive, let Christ’s peace rule … not exactly end zone dances and end of merge lane types of postures.

Reading on into chapter four, I found the perfect punctuation to my posture thoughts.  In the NIV, the section beginning with verse two is titled, “Further Instructions” (how fitting).  Verse two begins, “Devote yourselves to prayer”.  I think that is the ultimate posture when living Christ in front of others, following the model He set down for us, and living the words of Colossians 3.  And again, not the physiological posture most times associated with prayer … head bowed, on your knees, hands clasped.  Rather, the submissive, interactive posture of listening and dialog with our Creator, and Savior, and Comforter.  The only source of truly perfect posture.

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