Monday, February 20, 2012

Purifying Life - Prude or Prune?

I want to be pure - my heart, my mind, my thoughts, my sexuality...some of those are much easier than others for me.

I remember my life a few years ago where this seemed easy. It seemed normal.
Stop watching certain TV shows that are not pleasing to God - Check.
Stop listening to music that glorifies anything but God - Check.
Stop reading books that tempt my thoughts to be sinful - Check.

I felt convicted of things in my life and saying "no" to them came natural. Climbing the mountain to purifying my heart and life took little effort.

But the slope back down is a slippery one. It is also gradual and "innocent."

Baby steps, one at a time, equal a giant leap when you stop to look back. Each little compromise leads down a path that you don't realize you are on until you are far down it.

I'm not a prude person, though most of our society may think so. I desire what is good and pure and holy and true. I know that God loves me and wants what is best for me. I want to experience what He has made that is best for me. I want to wait until marriage to have sex this time. Not because it is what you are supposed to do as a Christian or because it is what God says to do. I know that God would not want that for me unless it was the best for me - and I want to experience His love in that way. That's not so hard for me right now, but I also fear that the men who will also want that are few and far between. I fear my pickings are pretty slim as I hit 31 next month. No only that, but I am divorced with two kids and I will not have any more. I almost died once and my boys need me too much to risk it again. Okay - I got off on a tangent - back to being purified.

I have made little compromises in my life and I feels so hard to go back this time. It is mostly with TV shows. I know they are not as bad as others I could be watching, but still I feel the conviction and I am having a hard time saying "no." I am starting to see it in my music choices too. Not all of them, but a couple here and there. I know it isn't God's best for me, but I am a strong Christian. Just because I watch that show doesn't mean I believe what they do and say is right. Just because I listen to that song doesn't mean I condone the language or behaviors glamorized in it. Ha!

Our sermon this week reminded me of the Nicolaitans mentioned in Revelation. I can't expect to eat the food sacrificed to (insert sin/temptation/the world) and go out and claim to be a follower of Christ. This is hard though because it tastes so good. And it doesn't seem to harm me at all, but Jesus HATES it!

I realized tonight that this may seem prude to even my Christian friends, but I consider it my pruning. It hurts. It is hard. But, just maybe instead of watching the Bachelor for two hours, I'll pray. Instead of listening to Katy Perry in the car, I will worship God with my music.

I want to have a heart of worship for God all of the time. Instead I have been filling it with everything but God.

So, Good-bye The Bachelor (Ben, I know you are about to make your choice.)
Good-bye Grey's Anatomy (You all really should stop sleeping with each other.)
Good-bye a lot of things in my life.
I need to continue building my relationship with the One who truly matters.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Only One is worthy

The higher the pedestal you put someone on, 
the harder the fall if they let you down. ~ Anonymous

I ran into a woman from the group I currently facilitate at Costco today. The conversation was very uncomfortable for me as she put me on a pedestal. She told me all about how she looks up to me and I am such an inspiration to her. She thinks that I am so beautiful on the inside and outside. She thinks she can learn so much from me and really admires me. She's 63. I'm 30. 
All that I could say was that I just show up and God does the rest. 

It is not very often that I am admired - and not that I want to be - I just usually feel like I can't do anything right. Unworthy is a better word for it. The best word for it. It's a stronghold. My mind knows it is not true, but my heart doesn't always connect with it. 

I've put people on a pedestal before. One person in particular and it was because I felt so unworthy. Because I felt so unworthy, I imagined someone to be more than what they were. It was unfair to both of us. 
And, the fall was hard. 

There is One who is worthy of being on that pedestal. 
There is One who sits high on the throne. 

I do not need to put anyone else up there or have anyone put me up there. I am so grateful for that.
I just want to show up and let God do the rest. 
I just say "yes." 
I try to lean into what is hard and uncomfortable and allow the situations to grow my character. 
I don't always do it. Sometimes I withdraw and hide. Sometimes I feel sorry for myself. 

When people take notice of me, I get uncomfortable with the complements. 

Maybe because I feel unworthy of them.
Maybe because I am unworthy of them.

There is One who is worthy, and though I am not, He still loves me.
And that is all I need. 

"All Glory, Honor, Power is Yours AMEN!"