Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Pious Fraud

I don't think anything bothers me more than syrupy, religious, emotional expressions coming from someone who just doesn't seem real--whether it's TV evangelists or a friend's facebook post.

But today, Oswald Chambers is making me take a good, hard look at my own fraudulent piety. (He always hits me where it hurts--maybe it's a "judge not, lest yet be judged" kind of thing.)

I talk a lot about my brokenness and how God has broken me through my losses and grief. But today's devotional talks about a different kind of breaking--one only I can do--a breaking of my independence of God. Chambers begins with Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ in me." He says that God can bring me to the point of breaking the "husk of my individual independence of God" but that He cannot do it. I must do it myself. Chambers says that until that breaking comes, all I am is a pious fraud!

Wow, I just have so many thoughts and ideas about who I am or should be. There are just so many things I want to do. I love to be busy doing, doing, doing. And, like Shauna Niequist, I want to "do everything better!" I do NOT want to be seen as "weak" or "pitiful" or "needy." Those words make my skin crawl. Like a two-year-old, I often hear myself saying, "I can do it myself!"  I don't want to need help!

But the truth is, just like that two-year-old, I do need help. I cannot live this life without help--not only from God, but also the people around me, bless their hearts. I'm guessing I can be a pain to live and work with. I sometimes get an idea in my head and God help anyone who gets in my way! I get so driven and moving so fast that I forget to think about other people and to consider their feelings and their need to be loved and valued.

So how do I break myself of this fierce independence? I know there have been times of brokenness when I knew life was more than I could handle alone. But during everyday times when I'm not suffering, but I'm just trying to accomplish something, I forget. Does the breaking happen once for all or does it need to happen again and again? I'm thinking it's the latter. Maybe after it happens many times, I'll finally "get it." I do want to "get it," because I can't stand the thought of being a pious fraud!

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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!