December 6, 2010

Bleeding Love

Do you ever have those moments where . . . your parents are actually right about something? And you actually took a moment to listen and process what they're telling you?

It's a little surreal, isn't it?

Well, they recently confronted a subject that we've been in and out of dialogue about for years. In the past, I always just turned a deaf ear or immediately put up defense - but for some reason, I actually absorbed it this time.

Which led to some inward probing of my heart, my attitudes, my perspective . . . and consequently revealing of unchecked sin.

I have allowed walls of pride, bitterness and stereotype to build slowly over time - not fully aware of the repercussions of my attitudes. It was as if I were blinded to those walls, whilst stacking brick upon brick, fueled by fear, insecurity and misconceptions.

Then one day, you wake up and realize how closed off and cold you are.

Instead of facing my fears and embracing awkwardness, I flee from anything that makes me nervous, approaches vulnerability or threatens my pride.

This only causes me to become further calloused and enclosed, in a silly attempt to protect myself.

Over the past year, I have embraced many things that intimidated me or set my nerves on edge. And through those experiences, you learn and grow more than you may expect.

I want to continue to push myself, to face the fears, embrace vulnerability instead of shutting it down.

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear." - -- Ambrose Redmoon

I have asked God to reveal the sin in my life, the things that I have been putting between Him & I.

Well, here it is staring me in the face - my pride, my fears, my flawed attitude.

Now that I have recognized this, it's time to take action. Thankfully, I am not in this alone. God promises to walk with me, guide me, provide for me, sanctify me.

I am learning that life is a process. You don't just wake up one day, having "arrived" and conquered everything. It takes time. Just like I didn't wake up one day able to run a 10K - it took time to prepare, build, train.

I wonder if that conversation between my parents and my ability to listen wasn't God's way of further sanctifying me and drawing me nearer to Himself.

I have been asking God to break me of my pride and bitterness . . . today a passage from Philippians came to mind. If Christ humbled Himself to live and die for the world, if He came to divide the wall of hostility between God and the world, then how can I not be affected? How will my heart also not be transformed to be more humble, open and gentle? If the first step is recognition of sin or acknowledgment of a problem, then it would seem the second step is confession and allowing God to transform my heart so that I can move forward. And trust Him that He will work through me, give me the courage and ability to move forward.

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

-Philippians 2:1-13

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