Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Tempting

Temptation...isn't that a constant thing?
I grew up believing that even thinking about sinning was a sin. If you had any kind of thought that was not good, you were sinning. (Call it Catholic guilt, if you will). How much truth is there in that? God tells us that we will be tempted. He knows that Satan will do whatever he can to turn us away from the Lord. So, shouldn't we expect temptation? When we act on our temptation isn't that where we decide whether we sin or not?
So, I have noticed that I beat myself up for being tempted. Have I become a perfectionist? Is that why I procrastinate? Because I don't want to do something that I can't do perfectly? I expect myself to be perfect because I am a Christian. In reality, it is hard to be a Christian...to know what you want to do because it is right, but to do what is wrong because you want to do that too. Then you are sorry because you love Jesus and you haven't done what He would have done.
I find myself expecting people close to me to be perfect now too. I expect them to not even think about doing wrong, especially wrong against me. I forget that they are human and flawed just like I am. My feeligs are hurt because they aren't putting others (namely me) first.
If thinking about doing wrong is a sin, then there is no free will. Then you are saying that evil (ie. Satan and his demons) cannot get to you or cannot influence you. I am starting to believe even more that these negative thoughts are directly from Big Red. He and his minions know how to get us (just like a used car salesman) and they come at your weak spots from all directions.
I will admit that some of my negative thoughts are my own choice, but that is because I have been tempted and fallen to that temptaion...not because I am evil and certainly not because I am not a Christian.
Once again, I'm rambling...just thought I would share.

3 comments:

Miss MyLastName said...

First of all, I think I should point out that I'm going through a rather severe Jesus struggle at the moment (hence what you read on my blog)(although I have the feeling you will be very, *very* proud of me in January - can't talk about it yet, but oh, just you wait), and feel *so* unqualified to be dispensing any sort of advice to anyone about anything. But I have to at least say a little something....

We are Christians, yes. But as you said, we are *not* perfect. I have many failures every single day, it seems. Once I was so down on myself for something, that I called up one of the older, wiser brothers in the church and he told me something that has helped me tremendously these past couple of months. He said we shouldn't focus so negatively on our failures and temptations - these are things that bring us closer to God. God allows us to fail or be tempted so that we can realize how much we need him.

The more I think about it, the more I realize how true it is. When I think back on some of the things I've done, I think "wow. I can't believe I did that. *But*, I prayed, and prayed, and prayed about it *so much* and if I hadn't done what I did or thought what I thought, I wouldn't have gotten to know the Lord in the way I got to know him through that experience."

Does that make any sense or am I just rambling? Ultimately, although I wish I hadn't done some things in life, or hadn't thought some things in life, I gained more of the Lord through my thinking or doing. These things have caused me to turn to Him and I think that's a really positive thing....

Whew! Sorry for that and I'm sorry for some of the things I write on my blog. Like I said, I'm in a Jesus struggle....

:-)

Mandee said...

DO NOT apologize for any of that...thank you so much for that response. I'm sure I will read it a few more times to really 'get it.' and don't apologize for anything you write on your own blog...please continue to just be real!

Khris said...

...and the blood of Christ wipes it all away. Praise God for His grace and forgiveness that makes us all white as snow every moment. Purified.

Thanks Mandee for sharing your heart. God is molding it and your struggles are an act of faith.