I just got done reading another blog that was basically about setting an example for your children by not complaining or whining about petty things. I almost shared it on Facebook, but then I realized both kids in my care were sleeping at the same time and I have some thoughts of my own I actually have time to share for once. So much has been stirring in my head these last few weeks. I keep forcing myself to refrain from posting short rants in my status updates on Facebook. Facebook is easily abused. Therefore, I am taking to my very neglected blog to give my shout out to the world.
Several actions I have witnessed recently have got me thinking about how terribly selfish we are. It is no new message from the pulpit that consumerism is driving our nation and sending us further and further into unnecessary debt. The root of all of this is truly ugly. How difficult it is for us to be content! We can be clothed, fed, and with a roof over our heads, but somehow that is never enough. Our great grandparents, if still walking the earth, could surely teach us about contentment. Our recessions are nothing compared to the grave difficulties of the Great Depression. Yet, somehow most survived and had children and grandchildren and provided for their basic needs. We grumble if we can’t afford a new phone or even go out to eat at the nice new restaurant downtown. Some grumble about even smaller things. We cannot always have what we want. More so, we SHOULD not always have what we want. Often times, it is not truly beneficial.
I want to teach my son to be wise with everything he has been given, including his very life. I have not always been so wise. There are many regrets, but I am grateful for redemption through Jesus Christ and time that has brought about much healing. Some things are very difficult to heal. How sad to see someone very bitter, because of something done to him years ago, lash out on someone else and cause them great sorrow. Words can be so painful. Apologies are good, but a change in lifestyle is what is really needed. The same it is with our salvation. Yes, let us be convicted, know our need for a Savior, and accept His gift of forgiveness. But what will we accomplish if we do nothing else? Will we live the life God gave us and desired for us to the fullest if we remain where we are? Oh, no! Redemption is free, but repentance is costly. We must suffer some, humble ourselves, and deny ourselves the happy indulgences of sin. It is a life changed, not only in knowledge but in action.
I have learned the art of justification, as most of us have. Well, it is okay that I buy that unnecessary dress because I had a bad day and it will make me feel pretty. No one but God will know if lie about this, and it is okay because He forgives me. That version of the Bible verse doesn’t actually say my lifestyle is a sin, so I am not sinning. Oh yes, you know we all do it. We ignore the convictions from the Holy Spirit. We argue with Him, justifying the choices we make. We tell ourselves, “THIS will make me happy. God wants me to be happy. I can get by with this. I can make people believe this. People will understand. God will understand. I will not budge. But she did this! He started it. Well, this will make me feel better. But I can’t change.” Lies. Lies. Lies. Oh, the devil walks around like a ROARING lion seeking whom he may devour. And boy, does he want to devour us. We are the enemy. We are his revenge. We are his victims as well as his warriors. He likes to use us and abuse us and then leave us in our muck.
HOWEVER (and this is the most glorious of howevers), God meets us IN our muck, cleans us off, gives us what we need to be restored, and points us back in the direction of true healing and joy and contentment. It may take weeks or even years, but no matter. God is able and longs for us to live and hope solely in Him. We cannot change? The serpent that planted that lie also desires our souls to live apart from our Creator. We cannot change with our own, weak power, but with the power of the Holy Spirit and prayer. Our selfish, happy moments are nothing compared to the everlasting joy of living for and with our Creator. It is not I that justify myself or prove my worth. It is Yahweh.
I want to teach my son to live for Yahweh. I want him to learn true contentment and have an eternity with his Creator. I want him to have the same love for others that Yahweh has for us: forgiving, patient, hoping, and edifying. And now that he is awake, I have an example to set.