This morning, a question popped into my head.
‘Are you for God?’
I immediately replied, ‘Yes, of course. That’s a dumb question’
But then I’ve been thinking about it all day. Am I really for God or do I just do the surface level ‘good’ things in hopes to earn points from the ‘big guy up there’ so that he’ll be ‘nice’?
I’ll give an example. A few weeks ago, I prayed to God for the restoration of a friendship that was on rocky grounds. That night, the friend reached out to me and surprisingly, I wasn’t excited. It turns out I really didn’t want that friendship to be mended. I just wanted to be the ‘good’ person in God’s eyes. But we can’t mock God.
Oh, another example is my constant search of how close I get to doing the wrong things without actually doing them. How long can stay angry for? I waited until I was about to sleep before I replied that friend – because the bible says ‘don’t let the sun go down on your anger’. I was more worried about going to hell if I didn’t wake up the next day than keeping the peace.
How revealing is too much for my clothes? How vulgar is too vulgar? This one is a huge one – how far away is too far to love someone from? I can literally quote bible verses and tell you all Jesus did to validate my reason for cutting off relationships. Proverbs 4:23 is my absolute fave verse; ‘Above all else, guard your heart’. And my favourite sentence to pull out? – ‘Jesus wasn’t friends with the Pharisees. He loved them from afar‘.
While these verses/interpretations are valid, I made them the bedrock of my lifestyle. I ascribed this attitude toward wisdom but have recently realized that they were excuses. What happened to the numerous verses about loving like Jesus loved us? If Jesus was loving me from as far away as I was loving people I would be wretched. And what about the verse about forgiving others seventy times seven times a day?
At the beginning of the year I told myself, “Deb, you showed a lot of love last year. Too much probably. Therefore, this year, you’re going to show love – but with wisdom (there’s that word again). You have to unsubscribe from the ‘take me for an idiot’ list.”
Again, I was trying to test the boundaries. What’s the minimum amount of love I can give to people that will still be considered a pass from God? I didn’t want a heart of stone – no, I prayed long for God to change that. But this heart of flesh I had received opened me up to hurt and pain. So I thought “maybe a firm heart will do, Lord. Not too hard but not too squishy – ‘just right’”
‘Just right’ – LOL!
Now, don’t get me wrong. Wisdom is very vital in our dealings with people. You definitely don’t have to be friends with everyone. But looking inwards, I realized that my reasons for doing certain things were not so godly/biblical.
I don’t know where that question came from, but I’m thankful that it was asked. I’m terrified of starting this process all over again because that would mean accepting that I fooled myself into believing that I was making progress last year. It is what it is though. From today, I’ll make a conscious effort to be for God. To abide in Him fully, and stop looking for ways to cut corners. I’ll leave you with this terrifying verse I remembered during my reflection.
Revelations 3:15-16 > I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.