Thursday, March 17, 2011

Choice by Choice

For the past few weeks, I’ve had lots of internal wrestling with God, myself and my attitudes. I’ve been feeling extra defensive and pouty and I knew that some of those feelings were based more on my insecurities, sin and selfishness than anything. I’ve been making lots of trips to the woodshed with Jesus as I try to distinguish whether I’m feeling conflicted because of my sin or someone else’s. It’s a messy combination of the two.

But I am the only one I have any control over, so in a sense, it doesn’t matter. I am the only one I can change. I’m trying so hard not to be defensive and pouty all the time, but I can’t deny what I feel. My transformation must come from the inside out. Changing from the outside doesn’t last. As soon as I think I have a handle on it, one little comment or sideways glance can unleash my fury. Not a pretty sight. Not a healthy or godly way to live.

So this week, I’ve had some tough conversations with a friend, my husband and with Jesus. I love the people in my life who refuse to feed into my rage. Instead of saying, “Yeah, you’re right to feel slighted, you shouldn’t take that anymore!” They’ve forced me to look at the big picture. They’ve forced me to look inside at my own deep-seated insecurities. They’ve reminded me that instead of giving something up for Lent, I chose to give grace to those around me. Oh, the refining process can be painful. Having those rough edges knocked off hurts!

But it’s so important that we embrace the process. In my devotional this morning, C.S. Lewis says, “…every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow-creatures, and with itself.”

Yikes! Choice by choice, I’m either becoming more heavenly or more hellish. Choice by choice I either become a creature more in harmony with God, others and myself, or more in a state of war and hatred with God, others and myself. Choice by choice, I’m either becoming more like Jesus or more like Satan. Every single choice is that important. It’s a sobering thought, isn’t it?

So, today, I choose to continue making those trips to the woodshed, having those hard conversations, and pleading with God not to allow me to miss this opportunity for transformation—from the inside out—even though it hurts!

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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!