Monday, 30 March 2015

Becoming clean(er)

1 Peter 2:1
"Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.
Stop being hateful! Quit trying to fool people, and start being sincere. Don’t be jealous or say cruel things about others.
So clean house! Make a clean sweep of malice and pretense, envy and hurtful talk."

Oh, I wish. I wish I COULD get completely rid of all of these. And as I struggle to become who I really am, I beloved daughter of God, I grieve over these faults.
I manage, usually, not to act on my feelings. 

But sometimes they get the better of me.

And I am not alone. I read, many times, of others who struggle like this as well.

I gain wisdom. And as Peter says, in the Message, 'clean house', I am reminded of a story which both Matthew and Luke recount: " “When a corrupting spirit is expelled from someone, it drifts along through the desert looking for an oasis, some unsuspecting soul it can bedevil. When it doesn’t find anyone, it says, ‘I’ll go back to my old haunt.’ On return, it finds the person swept and dusted, but vacant. It then runs out and rounds up seven other spirits dirtier than itself and they all move in, whooping it up. That person ends up far worse than if he’d never gotten cleaned up in the first place.”

So, as I do make a clean sweep, just for a moment, of malice etc etc, I am reminded of the NEED, the ABSOLUTE ;NECESSITY, of living with the Holy Spirit. Making sure that I fill my 'clean spaces' with Him: HIS thoughts, HIS attitudes, HIS intentions.  I cannot eliminate my feelings - but I can stop them taking over. And I can do this by cultivating an attitude of generosity, replacing negative feelings with positive words, criticism with compliments, unkindness with kindness...

'taking captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ'.

"You’ve had a taste of God. Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God’s pure kindness. Then you’ll grow up mature and whole in God. Be like newborn babies who are thirsty for the pure spiritual milk that will help you grow and be saved. You have already found out how good the Lord really is."

Seek Jesus: "Welcome to the living Stone, the source of life. The workmen took one look and threw it out; God set it in the place of honor. Present yourselves as building stones for the construction of a sanctuary vibrant with life, in which you’ll serve as holy priests offering Christ-approved lives up to God."

Present myself to Jesus. Only be staying close in his presence do I have a prayer of managing.

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