Friday, March 14, 2014

Really? That was me?

What a strange day. I consider myself pretty flexible, pretty laid back. I strive to be the kind of person who is not easily angered. I know that I'm not capable of that on my own, but most days through the power of the Spirit I'm even-keeled.

Today was not one of those days.

Twice I found myself getting really...really...irritated. Yeah, I'd say even angry. I wish I could say it was over something important. Or righteous anger. Or even just understandable.

Nope. Trivial stuff, stuff that I should just let go. But for some reason, it was easy to get under my skin.

Today was a stark reminder of something that I know - just how dark the human heart is and how much we need mercy and grace. The heart is the cradle of all sorts of negative crud that messes up families, friendships, marriages, and, well, relationships. I'm reminded of in so many places:
  • Jesus said, "What comes out of man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceipt, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness." (Mark 7:20-22)
  • My pastor John Ed Mathison, now retired, used to say that when you bump a person holding a glass of water, guess what spills out. That's right - water. The thing that spills out of us when we're "bumped" (like I was today) is what's already inside.
  • Paul wrote in Romans 7:15, "For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I want to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, I do."
  • And similar to Paul, the character Merle Dixon on The Walking Dead, reflecting on a life of regret, anger, and self-centered decisions, said, "I don't know the reasons for the things that I do. Never did. I'm a d--- mystery to me." (Episode 3.15, 2013, "This Sorrowful Life")

The fact is, if I'm going to avoid days like today, I'm going to need help. I'm a mystery to me too. I can't do it alone, because there's too much natural rottenness. As Paul wrote later in Romans 7 (verses 24-25), "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God - through Jesus Christ our Lord."

That's my only hope. But I am so thankful that... It. Is. Enough.

No comments:

Post a Comment