So, this being my first post on this blog, I thought I would say a little about what my goal is before starting. My goal with this blog is to obviously spread God's grace, and to use this blog as something sort of like a journal. To just post whatever I'm feeling or thinking, to talk about books I'm absolutely in love with because I'm a HUGE reader, to try to use it to share my Savior with others, and to hopefully make a few people laugh. Oh, and I write, so there will be plenty of insider bits about my books and such, one of which I will hopefully finish soon so I can put it on Amazon. Exciting, right?
Anyway, today I want to talk a bit about struggles, particularly my own. I'm not going to go into detail, but I've had a bit of a revelation today that was a long time in coming. It goes a bit like this: No matter who sins against you, no matter how irritating it is, no matter how badly you've been misunderstood, your job isn't to rant, rave, and complain to God about how annoying, hurtful, and disappointing it is. Your job is to think back to how you sinned in those moments, and to work on what you did wrong, whether that feels like the main issue or not.
Obviously, I’m not just preaching this to you, this is an issue for me, too. Shocker, right? Every time someone irritates me, particularly the people I’m related to, I think about where they went wrong in the situation; how they sinned. And, let me tell you a little secret, that’s the natural human reaction. That’s the way we all automatically react. We don’t normally have an argument with our mothers, then look back and think, ‘Oh, I did this and this wrong, that’s why we argued.’ We, or at least I, think, ‘Well, she did this, and she said this, and that wasn’t Christ-like.’
Honestly, I don’t want to look back at an argument and pick out all the places where I went wrong. I want to tell myself that I wasn’t really all that wrong, that the person I was arguing with really did most of the sinning. But, truth is, whether she/he, or I, did most of the sinning, my focus still should be on my own sins. It doesn’t matter what she/he did, I still have to answer to God for what I did. I can’t make amends for my sins by turning to God and saying, ‘So-and-so made me mad because she/he said this and did that, so whatever I did wrong was simply because of what she/he did. I have no fault in the matter whatsoever.’ That sound familiar?
Maybe this time you said something out of anger that shouldn’t have been said, or you used an unforgiving tone, or you had a bad attitude. Whatever the case may be, and no matter what the other person did, I’m sure you played a part in the problem as well. In my opinion, if you can’t honestly say you did exactly what these verses say: ‘Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love… In your anger do not sin. Don not let the sun go down while you are still angry… Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths,’-Ephesians 4:2, 26, & 29- you have at least one thing you need to repent.
I’m not trying to guilt-trip anyone, but as Christians, we should help and teach each other. So with these words, I’m hopefully teaching someone what I’ve just learned, and maybe finding someone willing to go into this with me and keep me accountable. It’s not always easy, that I live out day to day, but it will be worth it in the end. Because some day you will be able to stand and say, ‘Even when Satan used others to try to test me, I obeyed my Father and didn’t sin in my anger or frustration.’ That is so worth struggling for.
(Now, to go along with what I said in the first paragraph, I would love to share a bit of insider information about the book I’m writing, which won’t be my first, but it will be my first on Amazon. So, if you are at all curious what Lives Changed is about, leave a comment. I will write a post with a synopsis of the book as soon as I get TEN comments. I love challenges, so get to it, and expect more in the future!)