Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Lavishing Grace, Not Judgement

As I sat down to write in my journal this morning, I knew it was going to be a whining entry about how hard I work when "everyone" else seems to be fighting against me and "no one" else seems to care. I wanted to get in touch with my inner feelings.

But I decided to look back at my devotional first. My eyes were drawn to a few lines I had underlined several days ago, "No sin is worse than the sin of self pity, because it obliterates God and puts self-interest upon the throne. It opens our mouths to spit out murmurings and our lives become craving spiritual sponges, there is nothing lovely or generous about them."

I tweeted the first half of that quote and said, "Ouch, Oswald, you're killing me!" Obviously, something in me needs to be killed. Yes, I need to be in touch with what I'm feeling, but there is a fine line that, once crossed, leads to a pit of self-pity and judgement of others. I don't want my mouth to be spitting out murmurings or my life to become a craving spiritual sponge that has nothing lovely or generous about it.

Last weekend, as I was thinking and, yes, saying (perhaps spitting) some unflattering and judgemental things about a Christian brother, I suddenly got a vision of Satan and his demons laughing and cheering because what I was doing was so pleasing to them. Dear Lord! I was mortified! I pray that every time I open my mouth I will remember that picture and re-order my words accordingly. For a child of God to please the enemy and his legions by speaking against another child of God must pierce the heart of God. I don't know which is worse, picturing the enemy cheering or seeing the disappointment on God's face as the defamatory words come spewing out of my mouth.

So today, I will not write a journal entry filled with self-pity or derogatory comments aimed at someone else to try and feel better about myself. Today I want to focus on the beauty and wealth of the grace that God has lavished on me so that I will learn to lavish that grace on others. I want to be, as Oswald Chambers says, "stamped with God's nature," so that, "His blessings will come through [me] all the time."

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I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you think and how I can pray for you. Most of us are carrying some pretty heavy baggage and the good news is, you don't have to carry it alone! You can lay it at the feet of Jesus, and sometimes we need help just letting go of our baggage and not picking it up again. We're in this together!