Clean Up Time

This article, written by Agony of Victory, helped me gain more perspective on my own bad attitude, which the bible refers to as “indulgences of the flesh”. Oftentimes we can become comfortable with the anger and sense of rejection and before we realize it, those emotions become who we are. That is the place where our freedom in Christ is lost, rendering us ineffective to the purpose of the gospel, the result of sin.

In Christ we are free, having been delivered from the sinful nature, delivered from that dark place kept by false doctrine and restored to rightful thinking in Him. It is only through the power of God this becomes possible as once again we see a great miracle through the grace and love of the Father in doing which we do not deserve.

We should rejoice every time we are offered the opportunity to expose that same dark place to others, praying that the Lord would grant them the same freedom, knowing well in advance to do so may come at our own painful and personal cost.  We should pray that we would be willing to sacrifice what we believe we have rights to, for the gain of the cross.

This great writing drove me to tears unto repentance, or as she put it, “clean up time”. See what you think.

I spilled coffee on the little rug in my sanctuary. A splotch of brown on ivory, right at my feet. The room is tiny and cramped, meant for prayer and Bible reading. Every day, I wrinkled my nose at the spot. I envisioned removing everything from the room, a serious chore, and turning the rug so that the spot would be hidden on the far outer edge.

In the basement, I found some Dollar Store carpet cleaner, probably 10 years old. It won’t work on a coffee stain, I thought. I should have tackled it right away, but I didn’t notice it, till the spill dried. And there it stayed.

A strawberry-rhubarb pie ran over in the oven making a gooey mess. I used a metal spatula to get the worst of it, before it hardened to glue. Days went by. “Don’t use the oven!” I told my husband.

Two weeks ago, I finally found some chat time with a friend from my old church—the one I left because I could not support their charismatic doctrines, because the cross was obscured. She said I’d be back, and I said I would not. Not while this person and that were there. I carried a grievance born of rejection. That’s silly when it is the Lord Himself who calls you out. But it’s human.

The conversation, and yet another with two Charismatic friends–one still thinks it would be grand to go to Toronto—rekindled the eye-rolling impatience I have with this movement’s frivolity. And, I came to see, that it also stirred up the hurt inside and brought the stain of bitterness to the surface.

You cannot suppress deep-seated emotions. They pop up in many ways. For me, it is in irritations at the smallest things (the coffee pot water ran all over the counter this morning) and in anger.

Today, I finally got down on my knees and took a Brillo pad to the oven. It cleaned up before the breakfast bacon finished cooking.

I took the Dollar Store carpet cleaner to the loft and soaked the coffee stain. With a few swipes of a wet rag, it vanished.

In the midst of wiping it away, Wisdom brought Truth into focus.

Our Bible study last night focused on Galatians 5 and verses 13-15: You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

Pausing before the Lord, I said: I don’t want this anger. I choose obedience. I am rejected, but so were You. I am misunderstood and ridiculed, thought misguided. Far worse was said and done to You.

Our Bible study teacher shared of being reviled by church brothers—his reputation shredded. The Lord told him: Don’t fight the nails.

I sat here thinking: I’m still fighting the nails, stewed in pride, tempted to anger.

How I wish my stains could vanish as quickly as that coffee spill. Then I realized: submitted to the Lord, they do.

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4 thoughts on “Clean Up Time

  1. sigh!! What a great article, thanks so much for sharing that and yes tears, repentance……it’s always good to be on my face before God……just wished I had enough sense to stay there.

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  2. Thanks for posting this, I so needed to hear it! I find that one of the hardest lines to walk, the one between righteous anger at the heresy, blasphemy, etc, on one side, which is acceptable, and bitterness and resentment on the other side, which is not.

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  3. Very good. I suppose I needed to hear it, yet emotions are not something I can turn on and off. I wish I could, though.

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  4. This was so needed this morning after yet another attack. I’ve found myself becoming more cynical, harder, more unloving, angrier. I don’t like it in myself, but find it hard to resist, because to be soft and vulnerable and available and unguarded just leads to ridicule and hurt. We ALL know how this goes – perhaps it’s an introduction to the greater persecution to come. If we don’t learn how to react on these nursery slopes, how will we react to genuine threats? Thanks for this post!!

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