Do you ever make the same mistakes over and over again? Or have a hard time taking your own advice? Or spend so much time looking at the specks in the eyes of others that you never notice the huge plank in your own? I do. I'm guilty of all of those things.
Oftentimes, I'm so busy doing what I think is good... encouraging others to
seek the Lord, reminding my friends that God is in control, blogging about how
we use our words and living a life filled with grace and thanksgiving, tweeting
Bible verses and Charles Spurgeon quotes...I get so caught up in the doing that I forget to be.
Jesus calls me to be still. And I
respond by being anxiously frantic. I try to fix everything and everyone myself. I miss out on the whispers because I'm
looking for neon signs. My relationship with Christ suffers because of my
misappropriation of attention. Not only that, but my relationships with the
people I care most about suffer as well. It's pretty easy for me to respond to
people that I don't know that well with grace and mercy. But my best friends?
My sisters? My favorites? I am hardened and harsh.
WHY? I try to write it off
as feeling like I can "be myself" around them or thinking that
they'll forgive a snippy comment because they've had more experience with my
"good side", but those are nothing but excuses. The real issue is me.
My pride. My selfishness. My sin. Those are the relationships I should be most
careful with. I can say that I cherish them with my mouth, but until I cherish
them in my heart, what good am I doing? The BIGGER issue is this: If I feel
like spouting off is part of "being myself", who am I? Like I
mentioned the other day, the Bible says that our mouths speak out of
the abundance of our hearts. If I'm snarky and judgmental when my guard is
down, what is in my heart? Snarky judgment. How many relationships have I
ruined and how many hearts have I wounded by "being myself"?
I'm thankful that my God is the God of second chances. And third chances.
And hundredth chances. I'm thankful that He responds to me with grace and mercy
when I deserve nothing but hell. I'm thankful that when He looks at me, He sees
a new creation and not the filthy, sin-stained person that I once was. I'm
thankful that He has promised to finish the work He has started in me. I'm
thankful that He has removed my sin from me and placed it as far away as the
east is from the west.
Oh God, get me out of the way. Live through me. In You, I am a new creation.
Help me to act like it. Thank You for grace and mercy and redemption and
restoration. Make me more like You.