Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Plank

I am very good at finding the negative in things. I could very confidently attest to the fact that pessimism is an art form that I have mastered. Needless to say it is a destructive habit which I am earnestly trying to rid myself of. As embarrassed as I am to admit this, I know that it is something that others may also be struggling with otherwise God would not have felt the need to remind us of it through his word. And therefore, I believe the rewards of being genuine and authentic with you far outweigh concealing my flaws or the need to protect my image as a Christian, pastor's wife, or even a youth leader.

Last night I was pouring my heart out to God. I asked Him to help me change. You see I don't want to be this way any longer. Indira wants to be made new. I want to be transformed, renewed and conformed to the image of Christ. And just how does one get there? Knowing who God is and what He is capable of is a good first step.

You see it is very easy to find the "speck of dust" in someone else's eye especially if you are anything like me. I say that I am observant but the truth of the matter is that I have the tendency to be very judgmental of others. I will constantly put myself side by side to someone to see how I fair next to them and vice-versa. The problem with that is that, at times, I come out winning and other times they come out winning. But regardless of who wins, it should never be my goal to be like anyone other than Christ. He is the only one I should imitate and strive to be like.

In Matthew 7:1-5 we are exhorted to remove the plank from our own eye before we can see the speck in someone's eye. This verse speaks to me in several ways. For one, God knows that we would have the predisposition to judge others and therefore he heeds us not to judge others unless we want to be judged. I don't know about you but I certainly don't like it when others speak ill of me or point out my flaws. Yet it's so easy to cast the first stone and kill someone with our words, our looks or even our thoughts. Moreover, we can't be critical of others because we have our own deficits and weaknesses. God doesn't want our eyes to be so consumed with someone else's flaws as to make ourselves feel better about our own shortcomings that we forget where our goal is. No, he wants us to continually fix our eyes on Jesus and seek to imitate Him. Paul puts it this way in Romans 12:2 "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Finally, some of us need to heal from past wounds and forgive those that may have harmed us whether it was intentional or accidental. Once we have done that, then and only then, will we be able to view the world and others correctly. Until then our perspective of everything around us will inevitably be misconstrued and distorted from the reality. Consequently this will render us ineffective for ministry.

This is not a task that I plan to take lightly. I see the importance of eliminating myself of this mentality and I desire more than anything to be usable to the Lord. At this point I am willing to do whatever God asks of me so that I can be the woman He has destined for me to become.

Dear God,

For a perfectionist like myself, I admit that just as easy as it is to self-diagnose my problems I am just as readily able to pinpoint them in others. I realize that this is an unhealthy habit that I have cultivated for the past 30 years of my life. It has the potential to destroy relationships that I am not willing to lose because of this. I no longer wish to indulge in this lifestyle. Lord, help me to renew my thinking and align it with your word. Show me scriptures I can use to arm myself when I am feeling weak and tempted to sin with my thoughts, actions, or words against others.

Thank you for being a patient and loving God who does not scream at me to change but takes me by the hand and ever so gently whispers, "Follow me, my child. I will help you change." I love you, Lord and I truly want to be effective in your hands. Remove all that is hindering me from being a better wife, friend, daughter, sister, leader, mentor and someday mother. I earnestly believe that when I have learned how to accept everyone with their flaws and all (including myself) and stop trying to change those around me that I will not only be content but used greatly by you.

I also pray for those who are reading this and can in one way or another relate to what I have expressed. I pray that they would allow you to take them by the hand and begin the transforming work as well.

In Jesus' Name,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I struggle with the same issues, Indy. It's like chalking it up to discernment (seeing where other people have flaws) feels a whole lot better than saying it's being judgemental...but you're right, it's judgemental and wrong and I need to get the 2x4 out of my eye ball first.