Monday, March 7, 2011

Who, me? Why whatever do you mean?

You know that feeling when the Lord brings you face to face with your sin?
Shows you the wickedness in your heart?
Reveals the rebellion in your spirit towards Him or others?

Sometimes it comes straight from His Word. That's one reason it's so important to be IN it every day.
Sometimes it comes from seeing the reflection of my sin in the behavior (or words!) of my children.

And sometimes it comes through the rebuke of someone who loves me more than they love just "going with the flow" and "keeping the peace".

I'm a "keep the peace" kind of girl. My family and friends know this. Not so good at the confrontation thing or bringing up those hard topics. REALLY don't want to offend anyone.

Don't much like offering rebukes to others.

Especially don't like receiving them, myself.

But it happens, whether I like it or not. Here's how I've been working through this, lately. . .

1. I don't ever WANT to be comfortable with my sin. Whatever it takes, I want my heart to follow hard after God. I want to be sanctified in this life and rewarded eternally. Even when it hurts. And it's going to hurt.

2. Focusing on the sin of my "rebuker" does NOT make them wrong about MY sin. We ALL have sin - weaknesses - "blind spots" (as Mr. G used to say). I have no grounds to "write off" the rebuke just because it comes from another sinful human being. (Although I do need to carefully examine my heart before confronting someone else.)

3. I MUST take it to the Lord. If I know I'm wrong, I can ask forgiveness immediately. I may not know what I'm going to DO about it, but I can admit that I'm wrong and began right there to make it right. If I'm not sure about it - if I don't immediately feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit - then I can listen and wait until I've asked the Lord what to do. Either way, I don't need to defend myself or react in anger. (Defending myself and reacting in anger are my specialties, by the way.)

4. When I know that I have been wrong - then I need the Lord to show me what my response should be. Have I asked forgiveness? Have I asked enough questions to know specifically what I have done? Have I communicated my desire to change? Is there any thing I need to do to begin that change?

5. Then there is only one thing left. Getting on my face before my Almighty God and asking Him to do a work in my heart.

Because you see? I can recognize my sin when confronted. I can confess it. I can ask forgiveness. I can be in the Word, allowing it to change me and teach me the character of Christ.

But only God can change my heart.

Or my kids' hearts.

Or my Coach's heart.

Or my friend's heart.

Or my family member's heart.

That's HIS job.

And that's exactly what I'm asking Him to do in me, today.

May the Lord give you His grace this week to respond to His correction in a way that honor's Him.


amber said...

ouch! powerful words, girl!

i like... well, maybe "like" isn't the right word ;)what you said about not focusing on the other person's sin - that it doesn't lessen mine.

yes. we are ALL in need of grace, aren't we? and at the end of the day we can't receive it for anyone else.. that's their job. just like it's ours to take the grace He offers us and make the changes He's pointing to~

my husband has said before that God loves us just the way we are - - but too much to let us stay that way! and painful as it is at times.. it seems His most often used tool to conform us to His image is PEOPLE! :( :)

thanks for this, karen.

jjbrown03 said...

Thank you, Karen, from a fellow peace-keeper. So glad that God WANTS to change our hearts!

Corrie said...

whew. That's hard! I especially struggle with #2 and I've been dealing with that just thanks for sharing. It helps to know I'm not the only one!

And you're amazing. :-) Miss you!

Shauna said...

ahhh. Nothing refreshes me like God inspired truth and conviction!
love you.