August 24. 2011
I was having a conversation with my mom the other day. She was having a really bad day and got a little snarky with me. Now, not too long ago, this would have not ended well. I would have taken offense, become disrespectful and angry, and it would have certainly ended in hurt feelings on both sides of the phone.
But, this time was different. I heard God say to me, "You should not take this personally." So, I did something that I would normally not do. I just said, "Mom, what's wrong? That's not like you to snap like that." And you know what? It was not me. She was dealing with things within herself that had nothing to do with me. Because I was able to stop my instinct and respond differently than I would have before, it allowed a door to open to a new place in our relationship.
I have been focused on my own Growth over the past year or so. I have been hungry to learn as much as I possibly can about how I should live my life so that it is pleasing to God. So often you hear that "you just have to accept Jesus into your heart". And that is true. But, if He's really in your heart, then His character should start flowing through your veins and oozing from your pores. Slowly at first. But, eventually, it should be a controlling factor in your thoughts. It should stop old habits and replace them with new perspective. It should be the driving force that allows you to put your tail between your legs in humility when you need to apologize or concede. It should cause your reactions to be less automatic and more deliberate and loving. It should be what propels you to take the more difficult path- the one that pleases our Savior. I've found that I should not try to live like the only important thing is to have Jesus in my heart. I want to find my home in His heart!
I still fail. My imperfections and impatience still burst through the surface and leave ugly wounds from time to time. But, I am growing. Still. And even though it has been very painful and difficult at times, it is worth it. To see where I am now and how my life is better for it makes my heart smile. And I've only just begun!
"His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." 2Peter1:3-8
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." 2Corinthians 5:17