Thursday, February 24, 2011

Guilty

I am reading the book "When People Are Big and God is Small" by Edward T. Welch. It is about the fear of man (also known as low self-esteem, peer pressure, and codependency). The book has been very convicting, but I am learning so much.

In today's chapter, Welch talks about idols, or anything that is done or put before God (can be money, fame, or as in my case, even common everyday tasks). He refers back to the children of Israel when they made the golden calf and began to worship it (it became their idol). The author writes that in following this other god, they are avoiding the true God instead of trusting Him. The Israelites are doing this because the holiness of God was revealed when He gave Moses the Ten Commandments. As a result, the Israelites saw the weight of their sin (when comparing ourselves to the Ten Commandments, don't we all?) and become ashamed. They began worshipping the golden calf because their rebellious hearts didn't want to be confronted with their sin. Sounds an awful lot like me...

To be completely honest and real, there are days when I don't read my bible because I don't want to look in the "mirror." I struggle with one particular sin (unrighteous anger) and I can't even begin to count how many verses deal with anger, right speech, and having the right attitude. It (anger/speech) is an issue that is referenced in both the Old and New Testaments, and not just a few times here and there- it's infused throughout!  By not reading the Word daily, I am avoiding God. To open my bible and be confronted with my sin is difficult (do you like to be shown where you fall short?) on some days, but I know what I have to do because my sin hurts others and has consequences.

But, I can see God intervening in His mercy. Along with reading this book, I have been studying the book of James in Sunday School, and Th had to memorize a particular passage from James 1 that deals with anger for his Wednesday night class. I don't believe in coincidence, so I know this is God confronting me on my sin and offering me His forgiveness if I am willing to confess it. I have, and am forgiven, and am still working on controlling my anger.

This week at church we are having special services. We have been doing a study on the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5). Do you know what is addressed in these verses- patience, love, kindness, etc. All traits that are NOT present when I show my unrighteous anger. It has been so convicting, and I am so glad the Lord is patient with me. Because I was avoiding Him, He is convicting me of my sin everywhere I look: during Sunday School, at home with Th, at church this week, and in the book I am reading. Wow- isn't God's love amazing?!?! As His child, He wants me to be holy like Him, and He is not willing to let me stray from His love and mercy.

Thank God for His word, His truth, and His unwillingness to let me revel in my sin.