“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” ~1 John 1:9 (NIV)
This week, I am thankful for the cleansing power of confession, both to God and to my sisters in Christ. And that’s the only thing I can think of at the moment. And I know why.
I feel I need to make this confession here, too, because I think God wants me to. No. I know He does.
Lately, I have been fighting a losing battle in my mind against covetousness and vanity.
Covetousness because a wonderful and dear friend of mine gets to go to church every time the doors are open, gets to be super-involved in the areas her heart is drawn to, and stays skinny no matter what she eats. She’s amazing. She’s a growing, vibrant, humble, beautiful woman, and I have felt put to shame by her. I have listened to the lies of the enemy, comparing myself to her, and feeling as though I fall short of some standard. I have felt that I need to be “in the limelight” in order to really be “contributing” to the kingdom of God.
Pathetic, isn’t it? And I know better.
Anyway…on to the next one.
Vanity because my motivation for wanting to do what I want to do in my church is not out of a desire to serve, it is because I want people to look up to me and admire me. Well, I do have a desire to serve, but it is not as strong as my hypocritical, stinking, filthy PRIDE. I love to be admired and looked up to. I love it when people ask me for advice. I love to be needed. I love to be complimented. I love to know that I “make a difference”. Whatever that means in my limited, finite, human perspective.
And that has gotten in the way of my relationship with God lately.
I have basically been whining to God: “Why does SHE get to do what her heart desires in the church? Why don’t I get to do the things I want to do? Why is it always the pretty ones who get all the attention? Why can’t I just lose the weight I want to lose? Why am I on the back burner now? It’s not FAIR!”
How do you like them apples? I think they’re pretty sour.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my friend deeply, and enjoy being around her, and I’m so glad to be getting to know her. I really do. We click. It has not affected our growing friendship. It has (so far) poisoned only me. I think that’s because I finally answered the Lord’s call to confess this as sin – not only to Him, but to her and the rest of the women in our study. And, boy, did it hurt. Who knows what would have happened if I’d continued to hold it in?
When will I finally be rid of this Pharisee-like tendency to set myself up for a humiliating fall? I hope it’s this side of Heaven, because I don’t think I can deal with it much longer.
But…I said all that to say this:
“I’M FORGIVEN! I’M CLEANSED! I GET TO START OVER!”
I have come before God in humility, and I have once again been washed clean. As if it never happened. I am once again pure and holy in His sight, because of His blood. His beautiful, crimson, blessed blood! And I didn’t have to do a thing except obey…just obey.
So, I don’t want you to think I’m beating myself up about it – I’m not anymore. I just want to share the amazing Grace of my God to save, cleanse, and forgive me every single day. And for His amazing ability to just negate the battles in my brain. I’m not really supposed to fight…I’m just supposed to stand and see what the Lord will do. So, I’m doing my best to learn to surrender my thoughts to Jesus. I’m just heart-glad that He doesn’t demand that I do it all myself!
And I’m so thankful today.
For more thankful posts, visit Iris at Sting My Heart.