Sunday, July 3, 2011

Cutting off your arm

Pride has a funny way of sneaking up on you.

It starts as a simply joy in your achievements or accomplishment.  Maybe it is just a healthy self-confidence in what you can do.

Watch me mom!  Watch what I can do!

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But it can degrade very quickly into a beast that smears one’s accomplishment in the faces of those who have not achieved the same goals or do not possess the same talents.

And recently, in our home, pride took a turn for the worse.

One child, rejoicing in their own accomplishments, began to tear down the children who had not achieved the same goals.  Pride revealed itself in words, in actions, and in facial expressions.

It was NOT pretty.  In fact, it was downright ugly.

So we had a talk.

Matthew 5:29 says, “If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”

Now before you jump to any crazy conclusions about the reason I shared this verse, I was NOT threatening condemnation.  We have a Savior who has already taken the penalty for our sin.  He is eager to forgive and remove our sins as well.  There is no longer condemnation for one trusting in Christ. 

I was not making threats.

I was also not suggesting any amputation.  Cutting off  body parts are not the solution.  At least not in this case.

But I do believe this verse reveals how very seriously God treats sin.  All sin.  Our sin has far reaching effects on our own lives and the lives of those around us.  We must regularly examine our hearts and treat sin with the same seriousness as our Heavenly Father.

While I wasn’t suggesting the removal of body parts, I was suggesting the removal of activities.  I would remove the activity, the source of pride, before I would allow the damage of my child’s heart or the hearts of the other little people in our house.

My little one was not happy about this possibility. 

And admittedly, neither was I. 

I absolutely love to watch my children shine!

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But I can not watch it at the expense of the heart of my child.  And I won’t.

So we prayed for help.  Without the help of the Holy Spirit, we will not be able to humble ourselves.  We prayed God would help us be mindful of our hearts.  We prayed that we would build others up with our words and attitudes.  And we prayed for forgiveness.

And yes, I do say we because my child is not alone in this sin.  I struggle regularly with the same problem.  I’m just not usually as obvious about smearing it around anymore.

And then we moved on, thankful for forgiveness.

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But this prayer will not be far from our lips, especially during  seasons when it is most tempting.

In case you are curious, this post is purposefully written so that no one can determine which child was having a problem.  I have purposefully chosen pictures of all four kids doing activities that have nothing to do with this situation.  I don’t want a specific record of this incident.  God has forgiven my child and so have I.  I feel that recording the specifics would be inappropriate as a record of someone else’s personal sin that is not mine to record or share publicly. 

Instead, I simply write as a record of the seriousness of sin.  I pray I will take sin this seriously in my own life and that God will enable me to guide my children in His path daily. 

And perhaps He might use this post as a reminder or encouragement to someone else.

3 comments:

Tracy Hanna said...

Good reminder. I have seen this At home and wish I had thought to handle it this way.

~Ginger said...

Oh Mary, this is such a good lesson. I found someone treating me in a hurtful way recently and then before I knew it I found myself doing almost the same thing in another situation. How beautiful is the knowledge that our Lord forgives. Your post is a wonderful reminder that each one of us is guilty and it is only by the blood of the Lamb that we are fully restored.

Valerie said...

Wonderful post! Thank you for sharing. :)

 

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