Usually I am drawn to those lists of things I need to do, today I am looking over a list of things that should not be a part of my life and seeing if there is anything in my life I need to deal with. Paul writes to Timothy:
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with
sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
-2 Timothy 3:1-7
It is much easier to look at those lists of positive attributes and see where I might be lacking, but to look at lists like this and see if I am guilty…I prefer to just skim over them and believe that it does not describe me. Oh, but sometimes I am ungrateful, sometimes I am a lover of self and a lover of money, sometimes I am unloving, and certainly lacking in self-control more often than I am comfortable admitting. But thanks be to God who has redeemed from all of my sins and is at work in my life to make me more and more into the image of His precious Son, Jesus Christ. I certainly do not want to be a woman who is always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth-and facing the truth about oneself is not always easy.
But there is a truth that goes far beyond me in my little world-He is the Truth…the Way…the Life. So when I come face to face with my failures I also come face to face with my Savior, my Lord-the Lover of my soul. Do I wallow in shame or do I rejoice in the life I have been given free from guilt, from shame, from death. I do not face my failures head on in order to condemn myself-there is no condemnation for me in Christ-I face them so that I can move on to becoming more like Christ as I walk this earth. I face them knowing that I have been given victory in overcoming them. I am willing to take the hard look at myself because I am held in the arms of the One who loved me so much that He willing laid down His life for me so that the sin that so easily entangles would no longer have power over me. I am willing to take the hard look because Jesus has told me that that is not who I am anymore and I have the Holy Spirit dwelling within to lead me past my past. I face them because in doing so I learn even more about the God whom I love and serve.
I liked this little tidbit from Hosea 6:1-3:
“Come, let us return to the Lord.
For He has torn us, but He will heal us;
He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.
He will revive us after two days;
He will raise us up on the third day,
That we may live before Him.
“So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord.
His going forth is as certain as the dawn;
And He will come to us like the rain,
Like the spring rain watering the earth.”
So I press on to know the Lord and follow in His way.
Grace, Peace, and Mercy,