Do you ever feel like a walking contradiction? I do. I know the Lord can and does work amazing things in our lives. I know his grace and love changes us and overtime we become more like him. Sometimes though, it feels like an eternity getting there.
I can only think of a couple sin struggles that the Lord healed me from in an instant. The first was the need to become drunk or stoned in order to deal with life, or in futile attempts at being “spiritual.” The other wasn’t really a sin struggle, but more of a fearful personality struggle.
I used to have crippling panic attacks, and it got so bad that I could not go out in public at all if there were crowds of people. Look at me know! Ha! I love my privacy and quiet, intimate groups. Yet, I love being around people! I love the energy and I can actually carry on a conversation without wanting to shrink away and become invisible. It’s a wonderful thing for me. So liberating!
Right now, I need to remind myself of some of the good things the Lord has done, sorry if it’s all about Amanda right now. This is part of that transparency I promised, after-all.
Why do I need these reminders? Because sometimes I’m in awe of how this person who loves Jesus so much, who talks and writes of God, who strives to live a good Christian life, can be so hateful.
I said some terrible things today. So terrible and hateful that I cannot believe this mouth could ever be worthy of uttering the name of Jesus. I cannot understand it sometimes. How can a person be full of love and yet in an instant seem to forget all that Jesus stands for? It is a shameful thing and a discouraging thing.
One thing that is encouraging, is there was a time when I justified these behaviors. I thought they were warranted and anyone in my shoes would react the same way. I used to think my reactions were tame compared what was deserved. I know better, or at least I think I know better. Somehow, I think if I really got it then I would not behave this way at all.
I feel like there are certain teachings of Jesus that for me, it is like seed on stony ground. I receive it with joy, then when persecution or difficulty comes it withers away. Or, maybe it’s more like the cares of this life. My heart is still stony in many ways, and there are worries that keep my faith from sustaining me in all things.
If the Lord would only take away my selfish needs, my bitterness and anger, pains that I harbor, fears, and cares of this life that sometimes overshadow the fact that the Lord is in control of all things and I aught to have faith.
All of this, all of the things I struggle with (that I am aware of) begin in the mind. They being with unrighteous thoughts that I return to, dwell on, and eventually out of the abundance of the heart I speak the most awful things.
The problems here are multi-faced, when I think about it. When we have and evil eye towards something, we see everything in the worst possible light. We then jump to conclusions wrongly, and we refuse to see reason and instead justify our thoughts, emotions, and actions. This leads to an evil mind, one that dwells on negative thoughts and creates an evil heart. If we have an evil heart, then our emotions are evil. We are filled with things like hate, fear, anger, envy, bitterness, and the like. This goes to our hands, then we act on the evils of our other members — our eyes, minds, and hearts. It all works together.
I thank the Lord that he can change our perspective, teach us to take captive negative thoughts, heal our wounded hearts, and in so doing we find freedom from sin.
If we keep seeking, I know we will find the relief we are looking for.
Glorious will that day be when I am no longer a walking contradiction, ashamed to even say the perfect name of Jesus. I know the Lord can work amazing things, I just do not always understand why the process has to take such a long time. Then again, if I were perfect, would I still be alive? I would be complete, I would hope.
I’m so thankful to have another day to look at myself honestly, to have a heart that can cry it out and know that I cannot justify myself in this, to repent to a Lord that forgives 70 times 7 times, and to have the hope that one day I will be delivered from all iniquity. I’m thankful for the abundant love, mercy, and grace of the Lord — love, mercy, and grace that I do not deserve — and I would do well to show the same to everyone. I know this. Lord, help me to really know this!