08.02.12 And Pride Reared It's Ugly Head...

Um, ouch...
In these last few years I faced the reality that pride has been my most egregious trespass in life so far - and there was a rather hefty list to choose from. It was most ugly to discover even back then, but I had an even more horrific realization as to how bad it was just last night when an former co-worker posted her opinion of Facebook about the day’s “hot topic”. What was prideful about it? I felt I had the right to shame her for her beliefs, make her explain them until I was comfortable & convinced she had no idea what she was talking about or believed - and on top of that, had the right to criticize her for it. I can be one hot mess at times. 
But there’s more????
Here is what’s redeeming about that horrible became an opportunity for me to learn from it and realize that I had nothing to do with the redemption. Romans 2:4 in part says...”the goodness of God leads you to repentance”. His love and goodness helped me to see I was out of line, am getting the chance to learn from it & am given the opportunity to publicly apologize, and somehow...some way...God will turn this into a “good thing” in my life. I believe this because I have seen my other mistakes redeemed. 
I - am - so - sorry...
To my friend (at least I still hope so): I am sorry for trying to shame you for your beliefs. For asking you to explain them until I was comfortable & convinced with it. And for criticizing you for it in the process. There are things we don’t agree on, but I did not have the right to do anything other than state my beliefs and leave it at that. I will do everything in my power to do it “right” the next time. 
And another thing...
If you’re a friend of the one I offended my guess is that you’ll stop reading right about now when I throw God in the mix...but persevere. 
Last night became an opportunity for God to speak (and yes I believe God speaks today, once audibly to me and every day in the way of my conscious and even sometimes others!) - Caryn, you’re pride is rearing it’s ugly head again
It became an opportunity for me to receive His admonishment, then want to confess my sin and repent - Ooo, you saw the comments I made last night, didn’t you? And even worse, you knew the true state of my heart when I said them, didn’t you? Yeah, I really blew my testimony last night, didn’t I? I didn’t love her like You would love her, did I? I didn’t ask You the reason for her comments, did I?
But what I DID do was...
And another thing - because He is the final authority in my life, He chooses to teach me how to become more like Him. He led me to want to search out the characteristics of pride and their consequences according to His infallible word, so that I recognize it faster next time. 
And it gets better...
My favorite part of making a mistake besides the lesson? He’s showing me how to be intentional - which was “the word” He gave me to live out for 2012. I’m being intentional in seeking out what He has to say, and not waiting for the world at large to call out what they think my sin is, or for the world at large to define it.
I messed up...
I am more than willing to confess my sins first to God and then to the one I’s almost never easy, but terribly, terribly necessary. I do not believe posting about my sins is a necessary part of true repentance, but in wanting to be “a transparent follower of Christ”, I’m happy volunteer some of my “crazy” up for scrutinization. Why? Because what I truly loathe is when I realize that my words and actions don’t match. A good example - I say I am a follower of Christ, then pick and choose stuff out of the Bible to believe or not believe. It drives me crazy...and I’m the one doing it!! But I digress.
Here’s what I DO believe...
I believe God is calling everyone to be “all in” or “all out” because of Revelation 3:16. “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth”. His mouth is a metaphorical reference to the place where divine authority and judgment come from. I’m still studying this out, so for now all I can say is this: I would rather be “all in” and failing at it knowing that my salvation is secure and be judged that way in the life I live out in eternity, then “all out”, cast from His presence and paying for it (and my other sins) eternally...I truly believe there is a difference but I don’t know how to express that in a loving and kind way - at least not yet. It would come out terribly condemning and my guidebook to life (the Bible) tells me in Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit”. Conviction for my sin? Absolutely - but not condemned and left with no hope. 
My desire is this...
Posting about those moments when I blow it keeps my faith, three very important things, - which I think people who don’t believe in God, or Jesus Christ, are looking for in someone who “calls themselves a Christian”. I’m willing to believe that we look for these three things as believers and non believers, but we especially look for them under the microscope in “a Christian”.  They want me to be transparent, real and relatable...heck I look for those things and strive to BE those things for my own sanity!
Transparent - I want you to know & believe that as far as I know my own heart, I’m not trying to hide that I made the mistake and I am willing to own up to it. 
Real - I need for you to know that I deal with the same flesh issues, confused mind, and vile mouth that every human deals with. It leads me to ask myself though - how does claiming to be “real” help define me as a Christian? Might be the next thing I study. For now though, I still believe it’s important that someone sees I struggle with the exact same stuff they do. But let me add this - we might struggle with the exact same thing, but God is calling my life to be & look different so that others can see Him in me. I’ll explain this more in the last 2 paragraphs. 
Relatable - I believe in the whole “I have been there and done that too” testimony. The best example I can give is a general one because I have seen it time and time again, but don’t want to share a friends “past” and give a specific example without their permission. So...I meet someone and in the process of getting to know them, they become transparent, real and relatable about their past...and my mental jaw is hanging on the floor. I simply can’t fathom that after knowing this person for any length of time that they are describing themselves because they appear so “normal” now.  
By the absolute grace of God there have been 4 people in just this last year who have looked at me and said - you’ve changed...and in a good way! They knew me a year ago, five years ago and even as long as 10 years ago and they see a difference in the way I talk and act. They see a difference in my eyes and on my face and in the way I “carry” myself. And when I get home I weep because there are some days I don’t feel any different. 
I weep and I thank God, who took me from being eternally lost, bitter, angry and vile - to someone who can laugh at herself in a healthy way, has peace to spite my circumstances and loves better now than she did 20 years ago. That’s not me accomplishing anything in MY abilities or “power” - that’s the power of God working through the heart of me. That’s God tearing me down and putting me in a raw state of emotions and desolate in anything that looked like a “belief system”. Then He started building me back up  - first with a foundation that is solid, real, unshakable and can never be lost. Building good walls up so that I’m “in this world, but not of it”. He’s showing me how to guard my heart in a good way, teaching me through His word the way to live a life with true freedom, and most importantly how to love - and love well. 
It is a truly painful process at times - and that transformation process will last until He returns. Why do it then? Because the God of the Bible, is God - whom I serve, and He is love, and He loves greatly, and is kind, and full of grace which allows me to repent and try again, and full of mercy which is abundant when I get it terribly, terribly wrong and He could smite me because of it. This world offers a counterfeit to all of those things, but in Christ I will be know by the fruit I bear, and that which is “true” is what people will respond to - the change that He made happen. 
And so I leave you to go study pride with a truly apologetic heart for getting it wrong yesterday. 
“Keep Calm & Don’t Forget To Be Awesome”

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8/02/2012

    Girl, you are so sweet. You do not need to apologize! I was not upset...i vented my feelings and knew there would be backlash. I struggle with what the Bible says on a daily basis. I am trying to analyze it and love it,but its hard sometimes to agree with everything in a book written 3000 years ago. You are my friend, and you would get along QUITE well with my husband who shares the same views you do. How am I still married to him LOL?