Well, it is good to be back. As some of you may have noticed, my blog was silent last week. Some have been expressing some concerns, and I want to apologize for not letting you all know ahead of time that I would not be posting. I did intend to post and I took my computer along, however, when we got there I felt it was good to disconnect. I stayed off my blog. I stayed off Facebook. I even was very selective with my phone usage. It was real nice to actually get away from it all…even the technology.
Of course, when you come home from a nice relaxing vacation reality is right there waiting and so is Satan.
I remember saying in previous posts that we have a choice; we can flee from sin or we can run straight for it. Unfortunately, what I am about to share is one of those times I chose to run straight at sin with guns a blazing. I am not proud of myself; however, it is my intent to be real “real” here on my blog and part of being real includes sharing the ugly parts of me and my life.
This story is jammed packed full of lessons that I could take it in many, many directions. I could write about how what you hold in your heart, will eventually come out of your mouth. What you really hold in your heart is an indication of how you really feel and where you are with the Lord. I could write about forgiveness and loving your neighbor. All of those apply and yes, God used them on me. However, what I really feel strong about sharing is that we can’t let our mistakes, missteps, and mess ups keep us down, keep us from dusting ourselves off and getting back up again, or keep us from our calling.
Okay, here goes nothing (this is going to hurt):
These are the words my sister said to me on Sunday: “You are no Christian!”
Yep, you got it. The infamous statement made to anyone who claims to be a follower of Christ, yet fails or messes up from time to time. It was meant to get my goat. It was meant to hurt me. It did neither of those, but it did get my attention.
As you may have guessed my sister and I were having a disagreement. Before it even all started I knew better. I knew if we starting talking (texting) it was not going to go well because I was hurt and angry (hence the choice to flee or run straight at sin). I even sent a text stating that we should not “talk” for a while because we were both likely to say something to make it worse. Yes, I was so proud of myself! I finally learned my lesson and kept my mouth shut and my fingers still! Yay me! Then came that beep. And another beep, letting me know I had text messages. I heard God say “don’t check it..let it go..ignore it. Did I listen? Well, no, I just had to know her final thoughts. Guess what? I didn’t like what she had to say. I made me angrier. And that is when I ran straight at sin with my guns blazing. The texting war was on.
Over all, for me, I did very well of speaking my hurt and anger without crossing the line. There was no foul language. [Now some of you are surprised I would even be proud of such an accomplishment, but the old me would have let all the four letter words fly, so I am grateful that there was some saving grace in me.] I did not use dark and dirty secrets. I did not use biggest hurts against them (yes at this point, another sister was brought in to the mix). I did say (text) one thing that crossed the line (and I did so knowing I shouldn’t-*guns blazing). Now, remember I said it isn’t pretty. I am not proud of what I did and I am sharing only because I want to be completely truthful (just rip the band-aid off already):
I referred to my sister as “the queen of snob and judgment.”
Yikes! I am embarrassed; I am ashamed; But I am taking ownership.
While on vacation I had the opportunity to talk with someone new to the faith. She was sharing with me how one sermon stuck with her. In the sermon her pastor talked about doing everything and saying everything in Christ’s name. As soon as I texted those words to my sister, “in Christ’s name” came to my mind.
Those words were certainly not “in Christ’s name.” Christ was nowhere near those words. I was wrong. There is no doubt about it. At this point in my walk, words like should never come out of my mouth (or typed by my fingers). It is a clear indication that I am having a heart issue. I must have some anger, resentment, and other not so nice things festering in my heart. God and I are going to have to deal with it and deal with it now.
Now, as I indicated above the heart/mouth lesson is a lesson I need to learn, but another (and maybe more important) issue is that I can’t beat myself up over it and give in to the temptation and say, “Your right sister, I guess that means I am not a Christian.” If I do that than Satan wins because I allowed by my sin to make me ineffective. Yes, I made a mistake when I said (texted) those words, but I only compound my mistake if I allow it to separate me from God.
What I have to do now, is acknowledge my mistake, seek forgiveness from God and my sister (apologize), and with the help of God find out why those negative feelings are lingering in my heart and make steps to rid them. I also will have to deal with the consequences of my disobedience. I may loose a few followers here. My testimony may be tainted as some may loose trust in me. My reputation will likely take a hit. It is my vow to take whatever consequences come and us them to grow closer to my Lord and Savior.
Some may be thinking I am letting myself off easy by saying it is more important for me to “dust myself off and get back up again.” I can understand that thinking, I really do. However, if I don’t get back up, I can’t seek the forgiveness, make the necessary apology, and fix what needs fixing.
And it is not easy apologizing to my sister when I know I am right about the argument in the first place (right about our initial argument not my hurtful statement). Humbleness is not my greatest virtue. But God is a funny God as I just told the Sunday evening class that “God will humble the proud and it is much easier for us to humble ourselves than to let God do it.” I guess I should have taken my own advice.
I am very embarrassed and humbled about this whole situation. I didn’t want to share my epic fail but I did because I didn’t want to be a fraud. Yes, I love Jesus. Yes, someday I would love to be in some sort of ministry full-time. Yes, I should have known better. But I refuse to let Satan win. I refuse to let my sin come in between me and God and my calling. I am choosing to be thankful that the resentments in my heart were brought to my attention so that I can rid them from my heart to make more room for God. I will use this as a reminder that everything I do or say should be done in the name of Christ!
I just saw this quote on Joyce Meyer’s Facebook Page and I thought it fitting:
“You don’t have to have things hidden in the dark where Satan uses them to torment you. You can get them out in the open. Bring them out into the light. Expose them to God. He knows all about them anyway.”
Dear Lord, help me to become the person you made me to be. Help me to see others the way you see them. Help me to love others the way you love them. Forgive me for my harsh words and worse, my unkind thoughts. Please help me live a life worthy of the calling you placed on my life and to live only for you and your glory. In Jesus’ precious name I pray, AMEN!
Be blessed and be a blessing,