Wednesday, July 23, 2008

30 Days of Praise - Day 17

Today has been a difficult day for me emotionally. My mind has been kind of running off on its own, thinking critical thoughts, being focused on "wrongs" I've felt over the last week or more.

When I have run across some of these people who I have felt offended by, even if from a distance, it has been sort of a stumbling block. As I criticize a few, and dwell on it in my mind, I find myself becoming more and more critical, more and more annoyed. It's not a good feeling.

I'm trying to acknowledge it and confess it as the sin that it is, but there is definitely a battle in my mind. I am not being loving when I feel these things, which means I am not being like Christ. This is a battle that has recurred for me over and over throughout my life. I haven't always recognized it when in the thick of it, but have often looked back in regret when I discovered exactly what I was doing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

It's an interesting lesson and thought process for me tonight though as I have never been more aware of the battle as it's raged. I praise God that HE does not love in such an arbitrary way. I am grateful that God's feelings for me are not changed or damaged by my mistakes, sins or even just my humanness. I praise God that HIS love is like the love described above in Corinthians.

I hope that the revelation I have about this struggle is a sign of spiritual growth. I am trying very hard to take each person or situation I am struggling with and give them to the Father. I am praying for God to filter through my feelings, and what is my sin and what may be a true offense, but either way, giving them to the Lord and asking Him to help me walk in forgiveness and love, because these are the ways we grow to be more like the One we love and serve. I am grateful for my God who loves me even knowing everything there is to know, including these self-centered struggles. He knows me completely and loves me completely, oh that I may grow to love more like Him, in Jesus' name.

But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. 1 Corinthians 13:10-12

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