Wednesday, December 06, 2006

bad attitiudes or sin struggles

My posts lately, in the ears of some (and maybe including myself at times) may sound individualistic. Life is lived as individuals in community. And we impact and are impacted by community. And Christians' withdrawal from community is a great loss to them, and to the community they could be in participation with. These things are true, and really self-evident to those who've experienced them.

But life is still lived out, in a true sense, as individuals. Not being individualistic, hopefully. And as such, we encounter daily, matters that we engage in one way or another. An important aside: Jesus began his days, in early mornings, in prayer to the Father. Alone. We surely need to be regularly seeking to hear God from Scripture, and pray, regularly.

I experience bad attitudes and sin struggles at certain times during my days. I'm tempted to try and fix them in some way. But there is a sense in which I need to wait on God, while praying and meditating on Scripture, and pondering all things, to try to understand, and above all live in the will of God.

I find that it is best to wait. And in that waiting to be careful not to act on my feelings and urges, however right and righteous they may seem to be. It is clear, oftentimes, that such action and reaction is not according to God's revealed will we find in Scripture.

What I find is that God moves in my heart, by grace of course, to change it. To transform me. And in this process, to help me grow. Getting there involves repentance many times on my part. Confessing my sins, often of the heart. For example, inner grumblings against someone. And seeing God's forgiveness and cleansing come in.

In all of this, I'm not talking about taking a magnifying glass to our lives, and looking at ourselves constantly. But I am saying we need to be sensitive to, and aware of temptations and sin that may have slipped into our lives. Then respond in confession, looking to God for his grace.

The issues we struggle with often remain in our experience. So this posture is ongoing. The person who tests us, in various ways, may remain. But in the midst of dealing with these matters, by faith, hopefully the relationship and situation can change. And at least we can be changed to more and more reflect Jesus and God's love, grace and life in our lives.

What practices or thoughts have helped you get through, and over bad attitudes and sin struggles?

4 comments:

L.L. Barkat said...

I like hearing your personal posts. I think stories, especially stories of one's life, bring all the theory into more vibrant focus.

Ted Gossard said...

L.L., Thanks for the thought. I agree. So I did add another paragraph to the next day post, which, while no story, does give a personal flavor to it.

I think your point is important. We must personalize truth. That is why God gives us his Word. To make it our own, as to his promises and presence in grace. And our place, in this great and exciting Story.

Jan said...

Your thoughts remind me of a recent reading in A.V. Tozer's, The Pursuit of God, from the chapter, The Gaze of the Soul.

"Social religion is perfected when priviate religion is purified".

He illustrated this truth with an analogy of the piano tuner who tunes several pianos to a single tuning fork, rather than to each other. Only in this way does the individual harmonize with the many.

It seems many of us share a similiar journey in Christ.

Ted Gossard said...

Jan,

Thanks for your helpful comment. I so much agree. And a great analogy. We need to make sure we're right before we can help others. By the same token, we may end up getting helped toward being right by receiving from another or others who have already been so helped.

And of course, I think of "right" here as in step on the journey in Christ we share together. Not some idea of perfectionism.