I had lunch with a dear friend and the topic of how some people can change for the better and yet there are others in life who have all the right intentions, yet they stay exactly the same.
exactly. the. same.
We mentioned a certain conference that we used to go to, but actually stopped attending because we went home feeling guilty and less than refreshed at all the things we knew how to do, but did not do them!
Side Note: We did actually both try the "Go home and have sex with your husband every night for seven straight days" tip and that has pretty much allowed me to go to any conference I want to from now on...
But most of the sessions were filled with strategies, charts, and procedures that I just never got around to doing. It was not that I didn't know what to do. I am fully aware that if I put out clothing for Sunday church the night before, my morning will go much more smoothly. I guess I just enjoy the rushing around looking for socks, Bibles, offering, and underwear that hide in the piles of unfolded laundry! Yes, even the offering and Bibles have been found there!
And healthy eating. I understand that my late night snacking is taking a toll on my body. I am not in college anymore. I cannot down a personal pan pizza in my bedroom like I used to do in my dorm room and not see it on my thighs in a few days. But, I really like my TV treats after all the kids are in bed and I can actually eat without having to think!
But the one that we really talked about..the one that really hits me in the heart is our personal life. Our spiritual life. The place where God is whispering to us and we hear Him and we know truth, but we cling to what we want.
I don't want to just forgive my husband. I want to hear him say he was wrong, I am usually right and he will never use that exasperated sigh with me again. I want him to admit that this whole argument was his mistake.
I don't want to show mercy to my children. I want them to know that they disappointed me when they used that tone of voice or acted as if they were entitled to getting only what they want even though there are other people in this family.
I don't want to get up early to read the Bible. I want to stay in bed just a few more minutes, one more snooze, and one more dream. I want my special sleep time.
I want my own way. Every. Time.
Every. Single. Time.
The Bible says that those who listen to the word, but do not do what it says are like people who look at their faces in a mirror and, after looking at themselves, go away and immediately forget what they look like (James 1:23-24)
That is what I do. Except for I will take it a step further...I will put on glossy lipstick, sparkly eye shadow, and a touch a plum blush. And THEN, I will forget what I looked like.
Meaning, I will take the extra time...I will read the books that tell me how to pray for my children, read the articles on what the lies are that face us in today's world, and hear the message on how the gospel can truly change a life, and then just go on and not DO anything about it!
It pains me to write that, but so often it is true.
"I don't want to!" I shout like a two year old asked to put on his shoes for school.
And you know what? God knows that! The fact is, that without His Holy Spirit urging us, encouraging us, and using his power to change us...we would neverever want to.
But it is because of his grace, his amazing grace, that He gives us the ability to forgive, gives us the mercy to give, and grants us the desire to grow more and more in His word everyday so that our actions may bring glory to Him.
You see, it is He who brings passion to our relationship with Him which gives us the hunger for His Word and wisdom.
And when we abide in His Word, He gives us the strength to not just read about the change Jesus can have, but to actually experience change. Live life for Him.
Use the opportunities that he gives us for growth and change.
A change only found in Jesus.
And when you have that, everything else will fall into place. And you will not be just hearers of the Word, but doers.
When conflicts arise, like my friend reminded me, we will be able to see Jesus through our situations, and be able to grow in Him through the difficult times.