So many of us hear the knock at the door, but never answer it.
It sometimes amazes me to recognize how we refuse to believe in God–or to do what the Lord would have us do–because of the accountability it entails. We simply would rather do what we want.
Everyone has a different thing that they cling to that goes directly against the will of God.
There is a man that I know who always has to smite others, and he does so by using Scripture. The man will make the other person feel like a complete failure with his words. He ridicules others over the things that the person likely knows they should give up, but have chosen not to. He will make a huge production when pointing out the sins of others, as he smokes his cigarettes, stands firm with his very unforgiving heart, uses his foul language, and twenty other things that I could point out.
Yeah. What a righteous child of God?!!
Let’s see…am I any different?
I have a ton of things that go against the will of God. I have a caffiene (drug) addiction that I cannot, for the life of me, give up. I have tried and tried, and yet I always find myself with some kind of caffeinated beverage. Another thing that I constantly find myself doing is giving in to cutting up with a few of my friends and making fun of the acts of others. Like the man I know, I could point out twenty other things that are sinful and absolutely not as the Lord insists that I should be.
He demands perfection!!
As I think more about the love and forgiveness I have been meditating on and writing about lately, it has revealed so much more to me that I haven’t really cared (or tried) to focus on in the past. It has helped me to notice just how imperfect I truly am. It has humbled my heart to a whole other level as I’ve taken this time with God to focus on my own unrighteousness.
I had lost my cool with a co-worker a few days ago. As I was telling you, my caffeine addiction can become a bit of a problem. There is a, “Crabby ’til I get my coffee” magnet on our refrigerator that was picked up from a Florida vacation, and it is pretty accurate when it comes to how I am during most mornings. On this particular day, I was waiting to drink up later than I usually do before the patronizing series of words were delivered from a co-worker. Although I didn’t come out and say what I had felt at the time, my facial expression and jolty body language said it all. I was on the verge of letting loose on the guy. His condescending words (his usual tone) had hit me at a time when I was groggy and not loaded on my drug. I knew as soon as he started to speak, just where he was going with his usual choice of verbal communication. If I wouldn’t have walked away, he would have received the same form of communication in return.
He sure would have hated this coffeeless crab!!
I was able to compose myself, step away from the situation and let it go. The coffee began to kick in, and I was then my usual self.
Talking down to others will never get anyone very far. It tends to shut the ears of the person receiving off, and quickly turns the defense on. I know firsthand just how difficult it makes life, for I have been extremely guilty of it in the past.
So, I too have many ways about me that are so tightly knitted within my very being that are absolutely not as the Lord had intended for me to be.
Focusing on the flaws of others will never get me closer to God, but extending grace to them will. No, it doesn’t mean that I should allow others to continuously walk all over me with their filthy boots of self-righteousness, but it does mean making an effort to see them as the same flawed and sinful individual as I am. We are all the way that we are, for whatever reason. We would love to just avoid people all together (and sometimes I do), but we have to begin to realize that all of us are imperfect. We have to realize that our character should be rooted in His, and do our part in abiding in His love (All of the gospel of John, with my personal emphasis on chapters 14-17). We have to grow in Him, and bear His fruits (Gal. 5:22-23).
As I continue on this journey, I am listening closely to the voice that He speaks above my own. I continue to empty myself of the troubled man that I am, and allow His provisions to take their place. I am sometimes terrible at it, but I am a work in progress that He continuously provides for. I know that He will never leave me nor forsake me, and I know that He shows me the things that I will never find on my own. I trust that God will give me the patience to deal with others, and myself. Above all, I praise God for the final sacrifice He made for all of these things that go directly against the perfection He demands, and deserves. Christ died for me and you. That’s how much He loves us. That’s how important Jesus is to all of us.
What are the things that you need to give up? Will you listen to Him, above yourself?