Of all the sins in the bible, I never thought I’d struggle with murder.
Ok, allow me to qualify that statement. To my knowledge, no ones heart has ever stopped beating at my intent. I haven’t smothered anyone in their sleep nor slipped poison into their wine (Incidentally, the poisoned wine seems like a pretty interesting way to go. Of all possible murders, it’s up there amongst the most classy).
But truth be told, there are some people I would sort of enjoy seeing suffer.
This is something of an issue, since I like to think myself a Christian.
that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. (Matthew 5:22)
Yesterday, I screamed profanity at people in rage. Over a trivial matter, none the less – a scuff on my car they were discussing. I feel silly thinking back on it.
There is no excuse for that.
One of the (many) trite and clichéd expressions I have heard in the Church is the one of ‘Jesus tells us to love people, not to like them.’ Honestly, have you ever heard such nonsense? Thats an excuse to be a hypocrite!
I want to be honest, if I don’t love you then I just don’t love you. And the guilt and shame of that rest upon me. I’d rather ‘fess up to my weaknesses than lull myself into a false sense of holiness, a fluffy cloud of self-righteousness. So, I stand guilty before God due to my hate.
It gets worse.
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:19-20)
But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth (Colossians 3:8)
Is there a cure for this illness in my heart? Within me, there seems to be only murderous thoughts.
Now, on the same day, I received grace. I received grace through Jon Acuff’s blog, Stuff Christians Like. Frankly, I receive a lot of grace through this blog, but that post brought to mind a significant part of my faith. He wrote:
I can’t think my way to a pure heart. I can’t logic my way toward sanctification. I can’t will myself to redemption
That is a breath of fresh air for me. No, I’m not abdicating my responsibility. But I am surrendering my mess to the Lord, and asking him to do what I cannot do. This is the heart of the Gospel – that I can’t be what God wants me to be, by myself.
I don’t know about you, but it is good news to me that the awfulness within me cannot be overcome by myself. Salvation is God’s business. I want him to help me to walk with him, that I might be transformed into his image.
And until that time, I need a lot of grace for all the knives I’m gona throw at people, all the hurt that will come out of my mouth and all the darkness inside my heart.
I’ll try and be gracious with you, too