Last month I posted about boldness in standing up to "authority" in regards to safeguarding the Truth. I mentioned that would tie in to this months post. I have been wanting to write this months post many times over the past few weeks but I haven't as, the conversation I've had with God went something like this:
God: Your next post is going to be about being bold in regards to having the courage to search your own heart in regards to sin.
Me: Oh, yeah lots of people have that problem. That is a great idea for a post.
Me: Totally, more people need to search their hearts because everyone tends to get so calloused you know...
God: *sternly looks directly at me*
Me: ... you know... ... they... ... because... ... them.
God: Get to work.
Me:*looks at heart* I am so so so so so so so flawed.
I often have it in my mind, " I know I'm flawed, but maybe I'm not that flawed" That is such dangerous thinking. It puts me in a mindset that is to look at others and judge myself better than they are, and that isn't right. I should be comparing myself to the Savior, because then I am at least without illusion of my flaw. I am not very Christlike. I know a lot of scriptures, and I can be very generous... but what of it? There is no verse that commands by our Master's breath that I be better outwardly than my neighbor, while inside I slowly lose perspective. I do sometimes, lose perspective. Sometimes I carry with me the pains that others cause me when I am supposed to forgive regardless. Forgiveness... just the word brings up in my mind a dozens of clever talking points and conversational loopholes that I have heard said or said myself.
"They haven't acknowledged what they've done, so I can't forgive them until they do"
If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. - Matt 18
Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering- Matt 5
Either way you slice it, if you have something and you're not seeking to make it right, or you know of something you should be seeking to make it right. It takes courage and boldness to look in your heart and stab your own pride. It takes courage to allow yourself to be uncomfortable and experience vulnerability in seeking restoration. When we avoid take a hard look at ourselves we're like someone who was stabbed and pretends that we aren't. In order to heal, we need stitches, and in order for that, we need to remove the knife. In order to remove the knife, we have to acknowledge that we've been stabbed in the first place. Love is a hard and dangerous thing that kills parts of us. We grow back, if we grow, stronger because of it. There is this quote by C.S. Lewis:
"There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.”
We're called to love each other, Like the Messiah, our Savior, our Redeemer, our Bridegroom does.
I don't even know what else to say this month because I've just been... not great.
Suffering produces character. There is some hope in all this.
To run from things because they might hurt is like a plant that chooses to die rather than be pruned by the gardener, for its own good, to flourish, and to produce fruit.
...lemons are fruit...