Thursday, April 14, 2011

So Godly It Will Scare You

     Sometimes my pursuit of Christ makes me grouchy.  Imagine I am seated on the couch with my cup of coffee, ready to open my Bible and be fed in those few short minutes of silence.  My daughter passes by, for the third time, with a pressing question.  And with "raised" voice I say, "Can't you see I'm trying to read my Bible?"
     Instead, we're in the car and I am listening to an Improving CD.  The voice of the inventor, the entrepreneur, the visionary begins to plot and plan in the back of the car.  Exercising patience I pause the CD.  I listen to the complicated scheme.  When the Dreamer is almost done, in the sweet voice that can only come from between clenched teeth, I affirm him, "That's great.  Now sweetie, if you keep interrupting I won't be able to finish the CD before we get home."  And the soothing sounds of Improvement carry all the way to the back seat.
     Alternatively, I'm in bed trying to fit in a little quiet time at the end of an unquiet day.  My poor, unsuspecting husband comes in and begins an inane conversation.  After I listen, for a moment, and realize this is no pouring out of his heart, no ground breaking conversation, I cut him off.  "Do you mind?  This is the only time I have."  It wouldn't be disingenuous to add, and it's not for you, but those are the words not said aloud.  Only implied.
     Or, just imagine, God's been convicting me, let's just say concerning watching football on Sunday afternoon.  (Of course, we don't, because we have no TV.  The actual details of this event have been changed to protect the innocent.)  I walk in and say to my man, who has his feet up on the couch and drink by his side, "I don't think any of us should ever watch football on Sunday afternoon again.  It's a sin."  Unfortunately, God failed to make that quite clear either in the Word or to my husband.  He just wants to watch the game.  So I pout, tears in my eyes as I think of my family contentedly sitting together on the couch and unwittingly teetering on the brink of destruction.
     This is the kind of woman I am.  I get caught up in the things I think make me godly.  But this isn't true godliness, a true seeking after God.  This is all self-focused.  This is all about me.  Not God.  Not my family.   True godliness shouldn't make my family miserable.  God lets us live with tension - not the tension my child feels before I snap at him.  No, the tension between needing Him more than I need my daily bread and yet not being a better mother because I've spent 12 straight hours reading the Bible.  True godliness takes time to seek God.  True godliness also bears fruit and our hearts are known by the words our mouths.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, 
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things 
there is no law.  Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified 
the flesh with its passions and desires.
Galatians 6:22-24

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