Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Because I'm Basically Wicked

It was a grumpy week. My husband couldn't get it right. I went off on a two-day silent rant due to a simple inconvenience (or maybe it was 3-4 days). God just wasn't enough--and the busier I was the more I stewed. It was one of those weeks.

Although I wanted (really wanted) to blame the world for my funk, I knew better. Sure, there was pressure, loss, and things didn't fit my plan, but that didn't excuse my behavior or attitude. The junk that mars my life doesn't happen on the outside, it happens on the inside.

Jesus said, "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders." Matthew 15:19 (NASB).

Evil thoughts come from my head--not my circumstances. Murder and anger result from not getting what I want (James 4:2). I'd like to think I'm not alone--that it's true for all of us--and Jesus' list continues: sexual misconduct in my thoughts and actions begins in my imagination, not anyone else's. Wanting what others have is my problem, not theirs. Accusing and speaking against another's reputation come from my mouth, not theirs.

And that was the blessing of last week. As I looked at the irritants that crept into my world, it wasn't what was happening on the outside that created impatience, unkindness, complaining, and slander. It was bitterness and discontent in my own heart that erupted out onto the lives of others.

The good news is God loves me enough to show me my imperfection. He put His finger on areas I kept for myself--that's mine; oh, yes, and that one too, and I'll keep this one for later--and reveal them. I may not know the depths of the depravity in my heart, but God does (Jeremiah 17:9) and He sent Jesus.

Jesus will forgive. Jesus will cover. Jesus will help. Jesus will restore. I remain broken, desperate and needy. And it's okay. It's okay to go back to my husband, my friend, my family confessing my sin and asking forgiveness. That's just the way it is. That's life in the raw. But through it all, Jesus loves me. And that's good news. Jesus brings forgiveness, hope, life, joy and peace.

Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so;
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak, but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me! This I know,
As He loved so long ago,
Taking children on His knee,
Saying, “Let them come to Me.”

Jesus loves me still today,
Walking with me on my way,
Wanting as a friend to give
Light and love to all who live.

Jesus loves me! He who died
Heaven’s gate to open wide;
He will wash away my sin,
Let His little child come in.

Jesus loves me! He will stay
Close beside me all the way;
Thou hast bled and died for me,
I will henceforth live for Thee.

v. 1 by Anna B. Warner, 1860
v. 2-3 by David R. McGuire

ref. by William B. Bradbury, 1862

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