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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Lunchbreak Musings II

What the hell is wrong with me?

I don't mean to be profane, and honestly, I'm not.  Hell is definitely involved with what's wrong with me.  In that, I deserve hell because of what's wrong with me.  People tell me that I'm a good person, tell me that I'm a kind person and though I sometimes fool myself into believing it, I know the truth.

I am selfish. 
I am angry.
I am proud.
I am lustful.
I am greedy.
I've stopped going to church, except on special occasions.
I lie when I feel pressured.
I am lazy.
I "quench the Spirit".
I don't lead my family like I should.
I am too meek when I should be assertive.
I am too aggressive when I should be meek.
I depend on my own strength instead of depending on Christ.

I could go on and on, but I really want to focus on the last half of that last sentence.  Dependence on Christ.  My constant prayer, when I do pray (which is laughably seldom) is to be more Christ-like.  I dream of this man, this man who is bold in his faith and yet humble in himself.  This man, who cares more for others rather than himself.  A man who meets temptation with memorized Scripture.  A man who, like Paul, does not care about personal accomplishments and just rejoices that the gospel is preached.  A man who desires glory for God and not for himself.  Who loves and leads his wife as Christ leads, protects, and loves the Church.  A godly influence for other Christians and a passionate evangelist and disciple-maker.

I am aware that I will not be perfected or fully sanctified until I am gone.  I am aware that I often want these things for the wrong reasons.  I asked what was wrong with me at the beginning, but I am aware the answer is sin.  Sin that, though Christ has ensured it no longer binds me, still taints everything  this side of eternity.  But it is still frustrating.  I see myself in Paul's tortured plea at the end of Romans 7:  "Who will set me free from the body of this death?".  I am aware of the answer he immediately gives:  "Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!".  But still, it is agonizing.

What does it mean to truly depend on Christ?  That isn't rhetorical, it's a real question.  I can understand why we must depend on Christ--I can appreciate that we are completely separate from God in sin and that there is no way that we can reconcile with Him (Rom 3:23,6:23, Eph 2:8-9).  I can understand that even our faith is not ours to brag about and that there is nothing that we can do to give us some claim over God (1Co 1:20-29).  Even the strongest and wisest among us are nothing in God's eyes.  So, unlike any other religion, Christianity calls on man to wholly depend on God for our salvation.  But how does one do that?

I often look at myself and realize that I'm depending on my own strength.  What does it feel like to depend on Christ to say, resist temptation, though?  I understand the principles behind resisting temptation (Scripture memory, discerning the lie behind the temptation's promise), but my resistance is utterly powerless.  I can call on Christ at my best time, but I truly depend on Christ to even call on His help.  By myself, I will allow myself the temptation.  One can say, I guess, that the inability to fully depend on Christ is another example of why our dependence on His sacrifice to be right with God is so important.

And maybe there is the thing of it.  I expect myself to be able to depend on Christ of my own will, which is of course the opposite.  Oh, how complicated this gets!  And how simple it really is at the same time.  So, I throw this question out there to anyone:  what does it feel like, what does it look like, what do you do when you depend on Christ in your day to day life?  Any thoughts?

Despite that list up there, I know that I have forgiveness in all of those things and grace beyond that to become an heir with Christ because of the small dependence that I do have in Him, which is His credit, not mine, because it surely didn't come from me.  Praise God for His mercy, for His grace, and for His patience with a prideful sinner like me.

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