Monday, May 30, 2011
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
- The time wasters—those things which really do not matter
- The things I do to boost my ego
- My pridefully stubborn behaviors
- My self-direction
- My thoughtless behaviors towards others because I am too self-absorbed
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
We had tree problems so I called Hummel Tree Service for a solution. It was fascinating watching the three men take down a large tree in a small area, grind the small branches into mulch, cut to size the large branches and trunk, stack the logs in a trailer, grind down the stump, rake up debris, and leave the area in better condition than they found it.
While watching the process, I started thinking about how the life of that tree parallels my spiritual life. It is important not to stretch this kind of comparison to the point of being ridiculous, but this time the visual helped me understand my spiritual life better.
One of the trees was putting on a show of being healthy, but it really was a hypocrite. It looked good from the west, but from the east the rotting interior was obvious. As that tree was cut down, a squirrel came scurrying from the interior. In reality, that "pretty" tree was hollow, decayed, weak, harboring a squatter.
“The Lord says: ‘These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.” Isaiah 29:13 NIV
That tree knew how to put on a good show. It looked good from the side I normally viewed it, from the side it wanted me to see. But inside it was rotten, void, empty.
How often do I put on the good show for others? I know how I am supposed to behave in most situations to be considered socially well-adjusted. I do not mean to be a fake, a hypocrite. I mean well, but if I am not regularly nourishing myself with God’s Word, my core will become rotten, unable to distinguish behaviors which are pleasing to God from behaviors which are pleasing to my selfish nature. Self-rationalization takes over instead of seeking God as my source of strength. The interior rot accelerates. No matter how hard I try to hide my sin from others, I will be unsuccessful. Eventually the rot will become exposed, even on the good side which I allow to be seen. Sin cannot be concealed or camouflaged forever.
This rotten-to-the-core tree even had a squirrel as a squatter. When my core becomes empty, hollow, that vacancy leaves room for sin to take up residence.
So I have two choices when I find my core hollow and sin seeking to lodge itself in my life. Either I can continue harboring unrepentant sin, or I can genuinely seek God’s forgiveness, guidance, and direction in overcoming the sin which has invaded me.
“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires…For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. Romans 6:11-12, 14 NIV
Lord, make me aware of any sin which takes up residence in me. Give me the strength and desire to eradicate it using your guidance and power.