Monday, March 26, 2007

When Will My Grumpy, Selfish, Judgmental Attitude Go Away?

disclaimer: for those of you who don't want to actually get to know the real me, stop reading now. This post is going to be a little too honest.

Do you ever wonder how long it will take for the Lord to complete that good work in you that He started. You know, the one He will be faithful to perfect? yeah. me too.

So here I am in Church yesterday and the service was run by the guys from Teen Challenge. They are full of life men who were previously addicted to drugs and alcohol and who have found freedom and new life in Christ. The program is fantastically successful (is fantastically even a word?) and the men have the most stirring testimonies. So I was really enjoying the service.

And then I saw one of the guys, and for a moment, actually for a long moment, I was pretty convinced that I knew him. Not only did I think I knew him, but I thought he was my boss (who I didn't really get along with very well) from my days of working at Tim Horton's (a job I really loathed. Stay tuned. There is a blog coming about that). Here's where the old sin nature in me rears its ugly head. I was just dying to know if was him or not. My stomach got all full of knots as I remembered what it felt like to work for him. I remembered how small and stupid I felt working for this guy who made himself look pretty big and impressive at his employees expense. And so instead of looking with Christian compassion at him and thinking "Wow. Is that him? I wonder if he's okay. How sad that he must have hit bottom, but thank God for His mercies and for this program to show him the way" I looked at him with my old sinful heart and for a moment thought "Now how do you feel, Mr. Wonderful. Guess now I'm the one who's "got it all together"."

Seriously? How can I be like that? We had just sung praises and worshipped our Lord with lyrics like "To You I lift up my soul, In You is all my hope", and "You set my feet upon a rock, You made my footstep sure", and "We are the broken, You are the Healer", and boy did I mean those things. Really really. Except then not 20 minutes later I am revelling in the thought that someone else might be in that same pit that I have supposedly been lifted out of!

Lord, my heart is two-sided. I am a sad representative of your forgiveness. I am too much like the man in Jesus' parable who was forgiven an enormous debt by the King and then proceeded to require payment from another man who only owed him a little. Rend my heart. Pour into me the compassion for my fellow man, even those who have hurt me, so that I can be like You, who had compassion on me, even though I killed Your Son. Let me not be the kind of person who wants to see my enemies "get what's coming to them" in such a vindictive and caustic way. And mostly, forgive my lying lips that in one minute praises You for being my redeemer, and then in the next mocks a man (whoever he was) for needing that same redemption. We have ALL sinned and fallen short of Your glory. Let me not be proud that I have not sinned "in that way". As if my sin was any more appealing to You. I'm sorry that for all the work You have done and are doing in my life that I am stil so resistant and that I'm making so much more work for You to do.

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