Sunday, February 24, 2013

Lessons From the Boat

We are about 6 weeks into the Jonah Bible study by Priscilla Shirer right now.  Some of you have read on here or seen me quote or at least mention on Facebook about this study.  I absolutely LOVE it!!!  It is one of, if not my MOST favorite Bible studies I have ever done.  It really does hit home with me at this juncture in my life. 

From a few posts ago, you may have read that my heart’s desire is to live each day as a better person than I was the day before.  Nothing could be closer to the truth.  I am not sure if I have ever been more desiring to see God work in my life.  I just truly am trying to figure out what He is teaching me in every aspect of who I am, what I do, who I come in contact with, and how others see me.  The problem is, I think my focus {partly} has been wrong.

This past week Priscilla pointed out something in the video session that just struck a cord with me.  I mean, really shook me to my core.  {Please allow me to paraphrase} She said something to the tune of “When other people look at us, we should be more concerned about them seeing Jesus in us than seeing us for who we are.”  I mean, WOAH!  Does that hit home with anyone else?  For this “people-pleasing, attention-seeking, control freak” it certainly does!!!  This girl was CONVICTED!!!  It isn't about me or how good I look...it is ALL about how good I am making Jesus look when others see me.  Are they seeing Him?  If I am proclaiming to be a Christian and a follower of Christ, who am I portraying Him to be?  Yikes!!!  Then, the very next day a very sweet friend of mine pointed out to me that a sin that I commit nearly every day is not any different than another sin.  (It is kind of a long story but that was the jest of it). 

I have been trying really hard lately {new year’s resolution kind of trying} to be a better person.  More than that, to be more of a “Jesus” to those around me.  I have such a rough exterior and I come across SO abrasive sometimes and I HATE that….I mean HATE that about me.  I wish I could say it louder so that it could jump off the page at you.  It is a characteristic about myself that I loathe!  It helps sometimes when I want/need to get something done to be a little pushy forcefully, but I don’t ever want anyone to think that I am hateful or ugly.  I think the reason that it bothers me so much is because I’m not that way at all.  I am sensitive and loving and I care so deeply for those that I love.  I am loyal to my friends and I would do anything to make someone happy.  I do not like my reputation of being tacky and abrasive but….it follows me….everywhere I go. 

The only way I know to change that part about myself that I don’t like is to pray that God can help me.  I am praying hard about this and honestly, I believe that just since the first of the year that He has done a HUGE work in me.  I have SOOOOOOO far to go but I am glad that I have those sweet friends in my life that challenge me and help me to see that other’s sin is no worse than my own.  How humbling is that?  What does that cause me to do?  Work harder to be better!!!  I have been very focused on how God is using circumstances around me to teach, shape, and mold me into a gentler person.  I want to possess those Fruit of the Spirit that I lack – gentleness, patience, and self control (to name a few). 

My prayer is that God continues to work in me.  I am having a hard time.  Being chiseled and refined by God is not easy…it can be downright miserable but the end result is SO worth it.  So, in the midst of the struggles that I am facing, I will continue to pray, “Lord, continue Your work in my life.   Here I am to be used how you want me to be used.  All for Your honor and glory!”

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