Posted by: LucidMystery | June 5, 2008

Who I am Hates Who I’ve Been

Thank you Relient K.

When I give my testimony somewhere, I don’t have the dramatic turn-around life story that some have. I was raised in a Christian home; I’ve always known who Jesus was; I’ve always been aware of right and wrong; and I’ve never been too wild or out of control.

Or have I?

Part of the problem of growing up knowing Jesus is that I have had a serious problem with taking Him for granted. Ever since I can remember, I have known who He was; and as a teenager I began seeking a relationship with Him. Yet, more and more I’ve come to see that I’m putting Him in my little box of “givens.”

Now, do you know what I mean when I say “givens?” I’m referring to more than just the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (although I would argue they aren’t rights, but gifts.) The stuff I put in my box of “givens” are things that are around me everyday, but I have stopped noticing. Some of these things are like my mom cooking a good dinner every time I go home, other cars stopping at red lights, Monkey sitting on my bed every night, the Earth spinning in its orbit, American soldiers protecting my country, Dimitri giving me a flying hug every time he sees me, Jesus loving me. Aren’t those all horrible things to never give a second thought about? My mom is under no obligation to cook for me when I go home! Random drivers on the road don’t always stop at red lights. Monkey gets lost and/or misplaced sometimes. Soldiers are just men and women, none of whom have any natural obligation to jeopardize or give their lives to protect us. Dimitri may grow out of hugging me. And more importantly, Jesus doesn’t have to love. He didn’t have to die for me. Yet I put His sacrifice in the same category as trusting my car to start when I turn the key in my car’s ignition. It is not something I should take for granted!!

Another problem stems with my lack of understanding of just how awesome His gift was. When I hear sermons on how your guilt can be gone once you are under Christ’s forgiveness, I think “Great! But what if I’m so desensitized to my sins that I don’t even feel contrition?” That is a major struggle for me. When I do something wrong, my thought process kind of sounds like I’m saying “Woops, shouldn’t have done that. Oh well, Jesus will forgive me.” Yeah…He will, but I can’t abuse that privilege.

My lack of remorse scares me. If I really understood the consequences of my sins, would I react in the same way? If I really believed that hell could be out there waiting for me, would I have bad-mouthed that girl or thought improperly about that guy? This is what I meant ealier when I suggested I was out of control. I’m actually in my own control, not God’s. And that’s not how it should be. I just can’t use God’s forgiveness as a get-out-of-jail-free card whenever I screw up and think nothing else of it.

Now make no mistake, God loves me and wants to forgive me, but I need to want to be forgiven. If I don’t realize the full effects of what I just did, then I don’t really want to be forgiven, I just don’t want to face what I’ve done. Part of my desire for forgiveness is wanting to change the sin I’ve been committing. If I keep doing the same thing over and over and over and over…without asking forgiveness or wanting to change, what then? How happy is God with that one? Well, He ain’t leaping for joy, I’m guessing.

So what do I do with this? The whole concept of Christianity is based on grace, but abusing that grace is trying to take advantage of God. Right…cuz that will work. So when I said in the opening that who I am hates I’ve been, I guess I need to tweak a few things every here and there. Who I am hate what I’m doing, not just what I’ve been. I know I’m a work in progress, and no one will attain perfection while on this earth. But I do feel like this is a big issue for me, and one I need to confess to God and other believers.

God, please help me to stop taking advantage of your saving grace. You aren’t just an unlimited supply of soap I can clean all my messes without a second thought, I need to at least try to stop making those messes. I know you understand that I will never be perfect, but help me to keep in mind that I do need to progress spiritually and keep walking in faith. Amen.

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