Friday, September 30, 2011

Humble Pie = Not Awesome

Today I had a very humbling conversation. By humbling, what I mean to say is that my heart is WRECKED. Everything that my friend said to me was very much in love, but the truth has ripped me open.

There was a lot of nuance to this conversation, and it was rather lengthy, but I walked away feeling like an utter failure. In summation, I have loved so passionately, without enough words and explanation, that people see my love as attack. I have given every ounce of myself to others, and they have seen it as me judging them. I have asked people to join me on the exciting journey of serving the body of Christ, and they have perceived me as a "works" person. I have honestly shared that I have reached the end of my sufficiency, and they wonder if I should think about giving some things up. And seriously, this was all said in love.

I asked J how I could fail so epically in so many relationships, and he really didn't know what to say. We are convinced that he and I could say the same exact words and people would see his words as loving and my words as mean. It's like how people sometimes see God in the OT as vengeful (mean bearded guy up in the clouds just waiting to strike down with lightning the rotten kids who won't get off his lawn) and God in the NT as loving (Jesus in his white robe, with flowing hair, carrying a lamb on his shoulders and smiling at the children at his feet) and miss the fact that this is the same God. Not that I think that I am God, far from that, but I feel so misunderstood.

I have prayed for a while now for a gentle and quiet spirit. Those two words are so contrary to my "nature" that it's laughable for me to pray for them, but God has been known to work miracles. Here I am, feeling like that has been for nothing, because obviously what is coming out is not gentle OR quiet. Abrasiveness is apparently my forte. I thought the goal was to look more like Jesus, not less.

So in my brain I go through all the externals that I can try to fix: grow my hair out, have less rigid posture, walk slower and with less "purpose", speak in lower volume and tones, etc., etc., etc., ad nauseum. When really it is my heart that is the problem. If the fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control) were truly flowing out of my heart, all of these other things wouldn't matter. If I was truly reflecting Christ in my words and deeds, people would not see such sharp edges of me sticking out. Oh how Romans 7 was written just for me!

Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from Thee.

Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine; it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own; it shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.

~ Frances Ridley Havergal

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