Tuesday, November 23, 2010

O Lord, deliver me from this lust of always vindicating myself

Today, I was reading Oswald Chamber's "My Utmost for His Highest" devotion.  There was a couple of statements in there that hit me in the gut.  After being a Christian for almost 30 years, I'm amazed at how the Word of God still moves.  

In the first statement, "St. Augustine prayed, “O Lord, deliver me from this lust of always vindicating myself.”"  I find myself doing this to the point of inventing little lies that "vindicate" me, or give me a "righteous excuse".  It is a lust, just as when you're on the internet, and a search brings up a picture of a woman that suddenly excites you.  That rush, is the same, only in one, afterwards, I feel ashamed, but the other, I continue on, as if nothing has happened; I'm feeling good because I THINK I pulled one over on God.

The second statement, "When we discern that other people are not growing spiritually and allow that discernment to turn to criticism, we block our fellowship with God. God never gives us discernment so that we may criticize, but that we may intercede."  I've always felt that God has given me discernment.  When my spirit is troubled, the red flags go up, and then going to God's Word, I can usually find out why my spirit was troubled.  Unfortunately, a lot of times, that's where I start heading into a train wreck really fast.  Instead of interceding in prayer for the situation, I start criticizing.  I become a lot of times self-righteous, and the lust of vindicating myself takes over until the sin that I'm actively involved in is consumated, and I take off merrily on my way, feeling good.

Father, forgive me.  I am a sinner, who is actively involved in sin.  I don't want to be judgmental, but I want to love.  Help me use the gift that you gave me to advance your kingdom, and help others come to salvation by sharing your Word, and your Love that was shown through the shed blood of our Lord, and Savior Jesus Christ.

Amen, and Amen...

Random Stuff for 11/23/2010, thanks to Tim Challies.
  1. This was an interesting post about Facebook.  I got on Facebook last year, but after about a year on it, I got off.  I was finding myself on it too much, and I also found that it was becoming more like a soapbox so I could sound off, more than a place where I could interact with my friends...if they really were my friends?  This post by Tim Challies puts the time that people spend on Facebook into perspective.  It's a lot!  http://www.challies.com/technology/700-billion-minutes.
  2. From the Boston Globe's Big Picture, the 2010 National Geographic photo contest entries, http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/11/national_geographics_photograp.html.
  3. We need to remember that our persecutions are nothing like those that are being experienced by Christians who live in Muslim countries who practice Sharia Law, http://www.worldmag.com/articles/17288.

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