Saturday, November 1, 2008

Better Late Than Never

I wrote this some years ago, and came across it recently. It is a confession of sorts, I guess. When I wrote it back then, it was a private one; posting it here makes it public. Hopefully I am moving away from the attitudes that it describes. Perhaps you can relate to it somewhat. Bottom line is: thank God for His boundless grace and mercy as we journey along the way.

I am Beginning to See...

• That I am a Spiritual Snob. I have made the increase of my level of understanding of Truth to be the goal of my spiritual exercises, rather than a closer walk with God, or an opportunity to receive much needed grace, or even to ask for that grace that I need to enable me to be obedient in the simplest things. Those primary things that God has given me to be faithful in. Rather than add to my humility of spirit, I have allowed knowledge to puff me up. I have considered those with less understanding to be lacking in grace and ‘maturity’, while so many of these have displayed a far more godly walk, and so much more humble obedience and faith than I ever have. These ones shame me, and I can only imagine that the Lord takes so much more pleasure in their simple trusting of Him, even though they would seem to be content with much less understanding than I have, than He does with my proud hoarding of doctrine.

• That I aim to cultivate flattery from others. I try to be someone other than who I am, someone other than God has made me to be. I think I must do this to have approval, and be reassured regarding my value and my contribution. I think this is called being a hypocrite. I compare myself to others, and, according to my estimation of their wisdom, or maturity, assign to myself a grade to correspond. Either I let myself become mightily discouraged, or else I convince myself that I am somewhat above them in terms of growth and understanding. The latter would be fine, if it were simply a recognition, a discernment of where that person were, that was made in a spirit of compassion and a desire to encourage and edify. But that is seldom the case in MY case. And the former, thought it may at first appear to display humility of spirit, is only in reality a form of idol worship; that I would hinge my notion of being correct in my walk on the opinions of another fallible, fallen human, rather that on the written Word of God, which is to be my first and only measure in these things.

• That truly my heart must be the most deceitful, most wicked organ that ever beat in a human breast. Its displays of corruption seem endless; they bubble up from within, each one more vile than the last. If there were an end to them, a root to exhume, a final dark bottom to the pit of them, it would be somewhat easier to bear their sight. But I know that truly, they are endless. The ways in which my flesh seeks to be satisfied are diverse, and perverse, in ways and means that can never be exhausted. If I were to live forever in this body, my heart would never cease to manufacture its idols to be worshipped. My sin is as bad as God’s goodness is good. It has no limits, and is only restricted by grace. Thank God, through Jesus Christ my Lord. Where my sin abounds, His grace does much more abound.


RJW said...

Your final sentence says it all.

I have learned to say, "I am not who I used to be since your Love came," even though my thoughts and actions may "feel or look" differently. His Grace will always be sufficient.

Leonard said...

"Either I let myself become mightily discouraged, or else I convince myself that I am somewhat above them in terms of growth and understanding."

I most always fell for this one, thanks for reminding me..

ps. Hi

Maureen said...

Jamie: thank God for His amazing grace!

Leonard: it is a good thing to have God hold up a mirror to your heart, isn't it? Even better thing; He simply sets the mirror aside, takes you by the hand and says "I am for you. My grace is here for you. Come and keep walking with me."

Check it out! I went to "church" yesterday!! Whaddy think of that? I wish all of you guys could have been there.

Anonymous said...

Hey Maureen!

It's Kat...remember me (from MS)? You are such a kindred spirit, girl! I loved reading pointed out even more of what is true of me as well.

I'm so glad to hear your first meeting went well! We are praying for others to meet with in homes as well. I had mentioned that we were visiting some institutional churches in the is/was just not working out...people are just so steeped in tradition. Oh i better run, my toddler is pulling on me. Just wanted to drop you a line to say hello! Blessings! Kat

Leonard said...

Nothing wrong with going to a meeting.

ps. we are the church.

Maureen said...

Hi Kat, good to hear from you! I do think of you and wonder how you are doing. I know that the Lord will bring you the fellowship that you are longing for.

I am blessed in having the friends that I do. They are truly seeking authentic relationships with brothers and sisters, and are humbly trusting God to lead the way in their lives. Already we see Him at work in who He has brought together.

Thanks for stopping by Kat. I bet your little guy is growing up fast.

Maureen said...

Hi Leonard. I have to say that "being" the church is something I am in process of understanding. I do fear that I will somehow lose ground in the freedom I am experiencing by putting too much emphasis on that weekly fellowship time. Yet I have longed for that type of setting where brothers and sisters gather with Jesus Christ as their focus, and with a total dependence on the Holy Spirit to direct. Church in the building did such a number on me. I am thankful to be "out", and exited to just "be me" instead of the person I thought I had to be, i.e. someone that said and did all the right things, and just sat and relied on the experts to do all the work and sit and be spoon fed. I don't want to ever go back there, in the physical sense, or by falling back into the bondage of doing all the "right" things. I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to meet with brothers and sisters, both face to face and here online.

God is so good to us!

Leonard said...

Me too.
Thanks Mac.