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.
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.