My Biggest Sin of the Quarter
I am a work-o-holic. There. I said it. I admit that I love ministry. I love everything about ministry. I have used ministry to explore every interest I have under the sun and give a spiritual context for it. From media to music; academia to pop culture; I have used ministry to satisfy and stimulate my curiosity of a vast array of walks of life. I don’t mind working long days, weekends, nights and early mornings. Many times, it is my work that recharges my battery, especially when I see others stimulated by what I am doing. However, although ministry at times is an idol for me, it’s not my biggest sin.
I have a big mouth. From my gob I sometimes put together some great messages from the stage. I am quick on my feet. I have the gift of gab. Yet, my mouth gets me in to big trouble sometimes. I am quick to react in all things and I am so emotionally transparent that even when I don’t say what I am thinking, the silence that emanates from me is so loud, I might as well have shouted what I was thinking. Further, when I demonstrate self-control over my tongue when I am feeling raw or ungodly, people that are even mildly close to me immediately know something is wrong because of the absence of my words. I constantly put my foot in my mouth, say the wrong thing in the moment, offend people on a regular basis and fill silence with meaningless babble. Despite my daily wrestling with my tongue, and the fact that it is always on my top ten list of offenses before the Lord, my mouth has not topped the chart this quarter.
I’m proud. There are two kinds of pride. The first is a healthy, warm emotion of something good that has been identified in others or even of ourselves. It has to do with ownership, sharing and thoughtfulness. The other version of pride is detestable before the Lord. It is an inflated ego. It is self-righteousness. It is ownership of things we ought not take credit for. It is overstepping ourselves and thinking we are more, deserve more, do more than others. I suffer from this kind of pride. I constantly am pushing away compliments for fear of feeding the caged beast that lives within my heart of flesh. And while this wrestling with pride may taint every good thing I am trying to do and is something that may even be a symptom of where I am at before the Lord, this still is not my biggest offense.
Where I have really failed over this last quarter is an issue of Lordship. Just who runs the show here? While my pride, my mouth and my work habits might contribute to this issue, they are really symptomatic of the fact that I have both deliberately and miserably taken control of my life and tried to alter its direction. I recognize that even in my prayers, I have been asking the Lord to bless the work of my hands without even consulting Him about what work I ought to be and ought not to be doing. I have worked around the clock even to the point of making myself sick because I saw windows of opportunity; windows that I did not for a second stop and ask the Lord whether or not they were opportunities for me. I believed that there was an important work for me to do and if I did not do it, it would not happen. I made inappropriate requests to those who follow my leadership to follow me down these roads.
So now, at the beginning of this new week, as I sift through my journals and examine my life, I see my fatal error. There has been no joy in this last quarter and no satisfaction even in the small victories that were achieved. There has been no communion with the Lord because, “How can I commune with the Lord when I have seated myself on the throne of my own life and asked of the Lord to serve my own wicked heart’s desires?” Now, at the beginning of a new week, I repent, I turn from my own desires and realign myself to God’s plan for my life. More than the work, other relationships, this life, I love you Lord. My heart is for you. All I want is you. I ask for your forgiveness and I willingly confess my sin. “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me… (Psalm 51:10).”
Somewhere in between my mouth and my actions, is God’s Spirit. Although my mouth and my actions fail me all the time, God’s Spirit holds this mess together. I am thankful for salvation. I am thankful for the new beginning I have in Jesus Christ. At the end of the day, I am really glad that He is willing to take responsibility for all of this and that all I have to do is follow directions.
….All that I have to do is follow directions.
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”