I am grumpy a lot. I work long long hours which leaves me exhausted….and grumpy.
I take things out on people that I don’t need to take them out on.
I am angry.
I said bad words.
I enjoyed gossip. I enjoyed hearing it…I enjoyed telling it…
I loved romance novels….
I COVET Gymboree.
I am a jealous person.
I blame others for things I have done, or try to give excuses for my behavior.
I worry. All the time….
Why in the world would I be sharing such intimate things about myself? Why would I put them in print for dozens and dozens of people to read, pass around, hold against me? Why would I give a bad impression of Christians, when everyone knows Christians are so perfect? Our lives are golden….we can do no wrong….
And that would be exactly why. Being a Christian does not give me magical superpowers. It does not make me perfect. It does not make me better than everyone else. It can’t even give me that adorable and perfect-looking blog background with matching link button!
It makes me FORGIVEN through Christ.
It makes me WANT to be a better person. It makes me WANT to be more like Christ! It makes me NOT want to be grumpy or jealous or lustful after those romance novels! My faith in Christ gives me HOPE and STRENGTH to make it through this crazy crazy time on earth. It makes it bearable. Knowing Someone is out there that honestly loves me….it makes the tough times not so tough. It makes my goals different, or at least it should.
All the things listed above are sins that I struggle with. My 3 big ones were my potty mouth, my lust (romance novels), and gossiping.
Did you notice they were past tense? They are still on my list, but they were PAST tense? That’s significant! I’m actively trying to overcome them. I’m learning how to not let them motivate my actions! And, honestly? It’s working. Oh not on my own….TRUST me! For years I’ve tried that route, and let me just say, it didn’t go well…..obviously. On my OWN? Forget it…
Let me show you something….
If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”
Sin is crouching at my door….I don’t know about you, but that scares the BEJEEBIES out of me! I don’t want ANYTHING crouching at my door, desiring to have me. Oh the scary pictures I have running through my head….I must MASTER it!
I just let the cat out of the bag….there it was…did you see it? The answer to the riddle of HOW TO MASTER IT.
SCRIPTURE. God breathed. The very word of God Almighty Himself, the Maker of heaven and earth. And you. And me.
I read it! I open my Bible and I read it. I don’t wait for someone to read it to me Sunday morning, I sit down wherever I’m comfortable, and I READ it. Want to know another crazy thing? I am trying to (gasp) MEMORIZE it too! run away! run away!
Do not let them live in your land, or they will cause you to sin against me, because the worship of their gods will certainly be a snare to you.”
There’s another hint….there are some people that have a great influence over me. I don’t know why…peer pressure? The constant urge to fit in? Poor self-esteem? Who knows…but they do it, and I just found myself doing it too…..I know…DUMB! I’m a GROWN woman….
So, some people have had to make an exit. Wasn’t some big dramatic scene you see in the soap operas….no confrontations, no slapping of faces… God just moved them out. And when they try to come back, I have to have the courage and strength to do the right thing. Just because I am a grown woman, does not mean I always make the right decisions, so I have to make that constant effort.
Acts 7:59-60 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.
Ephesians 1:3-8 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will— to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding
I could do this all day…..
The point is, the more I read, the closer I get, the more and MORE I want to BE just like Christ. I know when I sin. I ask forgiveness. And I ask for HELP to overcome that sin.
So, is it gone then? No more temptations? No….I am constantly barraged with temptations, but I’m learning how to overcome them. I’m learning how to STOP the crouching sin at the door and not to let it take up residency anymore in my heart…in my MIND. Memorizing scripture and repeating it in my head has worked wonders. But can I tell you a secret? It does sound really odd, and I’m aware of that, but it has seriously helped. Those REALLY tough times that those ideas creep in, and those temptations are overwhelming and I feel myself tempted again…..I call out to Jesus. Sometimes I’ll repeat His name over and over and over in my head til it’s gone. And He’s always faithful.
So instead of uttering &%^$* when I stub my toe or I’m so frustrated I can’t stand it, you can hear GOOD GRAVY come flying out of my mouth.
Instead of listening and spreading the gossip, I concentrate on other things. GOOD things, like this dumb blog….
Instead of bodice-ripping, romance novels (soft PORN….let’s just put it in the context it belongs….it’s PORNOGRAPHY, it’s ugly, and it’s addicting, and they slap a pretty, girly cover on it and women excuse it….but MEN do it, and they are disgusting pigs…..I’m here to tell you, it’s the SAME thing. The goal is to appeal to your LUST and it sneaks in and it takes over, and can lead to other things…..there ya go….now that I’ve scared EVERYONE away……) anyway, instead of THOSE, I read my BIBLE. Or my devotionals, but more often than not, if I’m reading ANYTHING, it’s my Bible.
So being a Christian does NOT take away all my bad habits and make me perfect. It makes me FORGIVEN through the blood of Christ. It makes me desire to do better. (But if anyone reading this would LIKE to come decorate my blog with the pretty background and header and handy link button…..you CAN….) And it gives me HOPE to make it through this day and attempt the next. Makes me want to wake up in the morning and put my feet on the ground to start the day….. Gives me strength to make it through those hard times….
Let me leave you with just ONE more verse:
1 Peter 5:7-9 Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
If that picture of satan prowling around LOOKING for someone to devour does NOT give you motivation….let me give you HOPE that there is STRENGTH and POWER in Christ to pull you out of ANY amount of sin, any amount of dirt and filth and yucky gross…. and wash you PERFECTLY clean. And He’ll give you the means to escape it for good.
Don’t tell me I’ve never done anything for ya….I’m THERE for ya, baby.