This fall my Women's Bible study that meets on Weds nights is doing the first 8 chapters of Having a Mary Spirit by Joanna Weaver. Last semester you'll remember we did the Prequel to that called Having a Mary Heart in a Martha world. I blogged each week about what I had learned during the study and I want to do that again, but with a change. This fall I want to be real and sincere and talk specifically about what God is teaching me and what he is trying to do in my life. This won't always be pretty, ok well its not really going to be pretty at all because my sinful heart isn't pretty but with God's help he will change me!
I want to start off with an illustration that God gave me today in my life. I didn't realize it was an illustration at the time, untill we got into the word tonight and it was like God was hitting me over the head with a sledgehammer. Charity Brooke this is a problem and you need my help to change it.
Today was a beautiful fall day here in Indiana and like most days I took my lunch outside and sat in my truck and ate and read. I felt particularly spiritual as I was doing my study for tonight and even read the next weeks chapter. I will admit there was a certain pride in my heart that I was being soooo spiritual and reading ahead. Obviously I did not take to heart what I read as you'll see soon.
As my lunch break ended I got out of the truck and was rolling up my windows as I noticed a piece of white paper under my windshield wiper. I groaned and wondered to myself what people were advertising this time. Much to my shock it was a ticket! A ticket for a driving violation! I had entered into the Do Not Enter area to park. I was alone no one was around and I do it all the time. When I saw that ticket I got SO MAD. I literally grumbled and made mad cow sounds all the way from the parking lot to the second floor where my office is at. I stomped into my office and huffed down into my seat, mad typing as i logged into my computer. My poor Muy Caliente was standing there waving and happy to see me untill she quickly realized something was going on.
I am not proud to say this but being honest here, for the next 35 minutes I was the rudest, whiniest dirtbag loser that you could ever imagine. Apes and Muy Caliente were in shock. They literally stood there staring at me untill they started to laugh, out of shock I"m pretty sure.
I went on and on with my righteous indignation to anyone and everyone who would listen or was within a 25 ft radius. I do have a loud voice.
I finally calmed down and the day went on.
Untill I sat down at church. And Whitney started leading us. She was telling us an embarassing moment that turned into a spiritual lesson. And then it just hit me. I have an attitude. I am usually a really happy nice person but I have a problem with my attitude. Specifically I have a problem with Attitude when I feel like someone has wronged me in some way or been rude to me or treated me in a way that I don't think is acceptable.
She gave us 3 x 5 cards and asked us to write down something about us that needed change. Well that was a no brainer. Attitude. Duh.
After going through some verses she then asked us to write down what was keeping us from changing. And not to make up something but to be real and honest. I realized that I have an attitude when I think I have been treated badly because since I'm a nice person and strive to treat people well and nicely I think that I deserve the same. Which isn't true. God called us to love eachother and to follow after him and be like him no matter what. It doesn't say in the bible keep my commandments if they work for you or if you feel like it, no it says Keep my Commandments.
The verse that keeps going through my mind is in Eph- Be ye kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other just as God as Christ forgave you.
This verse is very easy to skip over. Oh yeah I'll be kind to people. Just as long as they are nice to me. Or Ill be kind, but give me attitude or yell at me and I'll do whatever I want to.
Nope, pretty sure that's not in the bible.
Whit encouraged us to come up with a game plan, something we could do, put into action when we are faced with the temptation of the sin we are struggling with. My plan of action is to have verses, the above one in Eph and I am going to find one about attitude and carry them with me. I will have one at my desk and one in my purse, and also one at home. Focusing on God's word and truth is the best way to fight sin.
This can kind of sound daunting. I know for me sometimes its almost a little depressing to see HOW MUCH God needs to change me and how much of my heart is still full of sin. But the key here is that its not up to us. We can't change ourselves. Only God can change us. And it won't be easy. Breaking bad habits and sin is not as easy thing. But as the author of the book said, its a good kind of hurt. The hurt that means you will be more like God after you shape up.
And the most encouraging thing? These two verses:
Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it t completion until the day of Christ Jesus Phil 1:6
God isn't giving up on you!!! You may not become who he wants you to be overnight or even in a year or two but he is working on you and will stay working on you untill he calls us home. I think thats pretty awesome. I am an inpatient person. I admit it. And sometimes I will give up easily. Especially when it comes to putting things together or figuring out how to work something. I give up easily. But God doesn't. And he won't. That pretty much makes me want to cry over his awesomeness and love for us!!
When I was in NC at Caca's church this past Sunday we had an amazing service. The choir sang the song "Not Guilty" by Mandisa and the words of the chorus have just been flowing through my head ever since..
I know you.
I love you.
I gave my life to save you.
Love paid the price for mercy.
My verdict Not guilty.
I know you.
I love you.
Just think of Jesus saying that to you. Because he does. More than we could ever fathom.