The Christian life can be hard. As can life in general. Of course when makes a wrong choice, life gets worse. Sometimes I decide to sin, to put it plainly, but I’m always filled with regret later. Why? Because I know that if I don’t stop, life won’t improve. Well that’s weird. Isn’t the point of not sinning supposed to be for God? But when I start thinking like that, I see the angry God with His arms crossed, disgusted at my vile actions, waiting for me to shape up and get my self out of the hole I’ve dug. I think of articles I’ve read of people quitting various behaviors who aren’t even doing for God. I feel the shame of a question: if they can do it on their own, why can’t I? What’s wrong with me?
Fact is, what’s wrong with me is that I don’t know who I am. Why don’t I know this? Because I don’t know who God is. I used to know a little more about Him than I feel I do now, but I’ve forgotten. I’ve lost touch. I’ve dulled myself with hours a day online, doing nothing, stagnating. But do I blame it all on the Internet? Yeah sure it’s the most convenient place to find porn and other mind dulling stuff, but I used to have the same stagnation feeling when I didn’t have Internet access. It’s a feeling of knowing I could be some much more grown up than I act, but I’m not and I can’t seem to find a way to release that man I know resides in me. That man that can succeed. That man that can bring home the bacon. That man that can…
Is this seriously all tied back to money, and the fact I’ve lacked it my whole life? Or is it the fact that my parents (specifically my dad) subscribed to the Amish notion that if any of us kids had a job of any sort, at least 20% of the wages (as an 18 year old; as a 12 or 13 year old, it was 100%) should go to them? According to them, later in life they would return it somehow. I recall them explaining it and saying that all the Amish do it, and some parents build each of their grown children a new house for wedding presents from the money they built up over the years. I also remember thinking that it was a load of crap thinking that my parents would ever do something like for me. To me, that money that I earned, went to them and disappeared.
I suppose that’s why I’m not comfortable tithing either. I used to do it out of duty, no heart behind it, but I think if you just give because you’re afraid of that angry God getting more disgusted at you, giving doesn’t mean as much. I think it still means something, but not as much as a giving out of a heart that is truly grateful to God for provision and gives because the person knows it is God that gives anyway and giving is a way to remind our own mind of that. Anyway, part of me wonders if I’m actually going to see that money again. That’s not having faith, and now I recognize that. Shoot.
I suppose the condensed version of this rambling post is: a revelation of God is needed in this guy’s life. The implanting of the knowledge that God is not like my earthly dad; God is much much better, and happier, and more just. And more forgiving. And helpful.
I just need to start listening to Him better.