STOP living by Christian principles

this post will render the post I just wrote a tad ironic.

I really don’t mean to contradict myself, and I don’t exactly.
BUT this caught me at a good time today.

I was reminded that Christians living merely by Christian principles are really no different than any other person living by the spiritual principles that are twisted and disguised as secular concepts. all of us are simply harnessing universal spiritual truths and using them for our benefit.

obviously I’m not saying that we shouldn’t learn, practice, and apply Biblical principles, but that it should flow out of our relationship with God rather than some sort of attempt at self-help.

there is really such a fine line there, and certainly it all comes back to a matter of the heart – but then, doesn’t everything?

the reality is that there are plenty of “Christians” everywhere living by Christian principles but lacking real power in their lives. and satan is more than happy for them to continue living a lackluster existence, dragging the name of Jesus after them like a favorite stuffed animal, blinded to the very real, roaring Aslan that he is.

I’m about to say something that none of us might particularly like to hear.

for a Christian with all the power of the Jesus who defeated death on their side, there are to my knowledge only 2 reasons they cannot find victory: a. deep down they enjoy the sin just a little too much. or b. deep down they don’t really believe that they have the power that Jesus says they have.

for example, my frustration with food is BOTH of these. I enjoy eating so, SO much. and no matter how true I KNOW the saying “nothing tastes as good as it feels to be thin” is, in the moment, not only do I WANT to eat, but I feel like it’s not really that possible to get back to where I want to be again anyway. it feels like too much work. so I am currently plump of my own choosing…

the part where it gets a bit tricky for me is that I know it is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance. and I don’t know if he sometimes waits to touch our hearts, or if we merely sometimes take forever to feel that touch…

because I have experienced on more than one occasion the sudden and very overwhelming, seemingly out of nowhere, touch of God on my heart that brings conviction – and I’ve noticed that it is followed by a very real and deep repentance, the kind where I cannot but be SO thankful to him for doing that work in me.

we do not cuss or call each other names, but our tones of voice have been known to be less than uplifting on far too many occasions in the past 6 months. I don’t know how long really, but I can’t remember back farther than that. I think 6 months is probably about as long as our children have been at the stage of exasperating us more than before, so it’s a guess.

today God nudged me about this area of our lives, and I have to admit that I’m quite glad God saw fit to work on this so very early into the open window season… I love living close to people, but it is far too easy to forget how well yelling travels. (Mr. D pointed out today that it quite fits with the whole trailer stereotype.) that’s all we need…!

I know that yelling to the other end of the house is simply indicative of lazy parenting, and this post by Tygre reminded me of some of my other lazy parenting tactics. we’ve never used the counting to 3 technique because the folly of that method has always been rather obvious to me, but the questions we use are rarely much better, really.

I may have gotten a little off track from the original topic, but what ties it together is that it is all on my heart today.

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  • Krista

    ah!! This is SO true! It’s way too easy to just go through the motions and forget that God wants a relationship with us and not little people who go around doing “good” things. I’m pretty much always needing this reminder.. to look beyond the surface of my actions or situations and see what’s really there.

    • ticotina

      a tangible relationship with a supernatural God seems so ambiguous sometimes… but thankfully we have SUCH a personal God!!!

  • GREAT post! It’s so easy to have that mental checklist of “good things” I do. 2 Corinthians 12:9 and 1 Corinthians 10:13 are sweet reminders of God’s power and provision in our spiritual growth too. Thank you for being so transparent in your marriage and parenting! (And thank you oodles for the shout out 🙂

    • ticotina

      those verses are awesome, Tygre, thanks for reminding me of them, so true and encouraging!

  • Are you in my head? I seriously think you are!!!! Like, its sorta weird sometimes but I LOVE THAT!!!!!!!!!!
    I actually SHUT the WINDOWS one time not too long ago because I was yelling at my kids and instead of just deciding to control my annoyance I SHUT THE WINDOWS! WTH is WRONG WITH ME?? I SAW the error of my ways but didn’t feel the need to do anything about it at the moment. Of course that’s’ ALL i could think about once I had some time to reflect and then the guilt set in and then ya know the same ole same ole i’ll do better and ugh! I LOVE Tygre’s post! She gets to you doesn’t she and it and posts like this HELP ME SO MUCH!!! Made J read that and I’m going to have him read this one too! Yay for parental support groups across the miles!!! HA!

    • ticotina

      um, how bad is it that I’m glad I’m not the only one who has wanted to close windows so as not to sound so bad to neighbors?! I’ve usually just been like, uh, David, people can hear us. but seriously, I am sitting down two seconds to work and the kids start fighting in the back of the house and I am like SERIOUSLY!?! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!?!??!?! argh. lazy.

      • Yep I was happy you yelled at your kids too???? BAD Kelly! I’ve always been quick to yell and I am TRYING SO HARD TO CONTROL IT! I don’t want my kids to carry on the “tradition”!!!! NO WAY!

  • First of all, I must say that this picture of you is absolutely stunning! Seriously, so beautiful. Also, thank you for writing such an inspiring post. I have had the same problem talking (yelling) in harsh tones and yelling across the house. I hate it, because I know it is setting a bad example for my children and not creating the loving environment I want to have in my home…but it’s so hard to change once you get in that habit/attitude!

    • ticotina

      you are too, too kind, Jenny, but thank you! =)

      it really IS so hard to change, and as long as we are trying to do it on our own strength, or not trying too hard, as the case may be, since it seems really easy to justify =/ I think we will keep failing. maybe all of us loud-mouthed moms could start a prayer support group, lol. at least now that we’ve all talked about it I know I will think of you guys when I am tempted to yell and I bet it will help me choose not to!

  • Nisha

    Good post. do you have an email subscription thingy.

    • ticotina

      hey Nisha! yep, there in the left sidebar under subscribe, the letter icon. I was thinking about redoing all of that to be more clear and obvious, maybe that will be next on my list. thanks for stopping by! =)

  • Really good stuff here. The balance then I guess would be how do we identify the truths we see in other beliefs and bring all back to What do YOU do with Jesus? That’s really what it all ultimately comes down to. I can have many conversations with people from other walks of life but if it doesn’t come back to what do YOU do with Jesus, it’s all just smoke and mirrors.
    Oh really good stuff!! I like you!!

    • ticotina

      yep, very good point, Noel – it really does all come back to Jesus. I like you, too 🙂

  • really good post….and so so true..

  • Patricia

    Awesome read. When are we going to live and stop being robots to religion.

    • it’s definitely hard to be intentional about the way we live…