So it seems a lot of discussion lately I have been involved in (at church and in small group) has been around where we find our righteousness. One of the questions we discussed tonight was "What would your closest friends and family list as your personal rules for Acquiring and Accumulating Righteousness?" There are so many rules that we place on ourselves and on our children and others around us that are so not what this life is about, or should be about. This morning's sermon was on Matthew 15:1-20. There are so many times that I find myself exactly where the Pharisees (Did I spell that really wrong...oh well) are in this passage. Following the "traditions of elders", or in today's terms doing it the way our parents did. Not to say our parents did it wrong or those before us had it all wrong. Pastor Mark challenged that maybe it would be good to challenge the existing system. Why do we have certain rules for our kids. Are they backed by Scripture? Looking at the passage in Matthew, the point isn't that washing your hands before eating isn't important, it was looking deeper. Looking into the heart. Is our heart desiring to please God? Am I doing these seamingly good things in order to gain my righteousness or out of my love for the Lord. That is where I struggle so many days. While what I do on the outside might look fine and like honorable things, what is in my heart? Am I trusting the Lord with every aspect of my life? Am I doing these things to everyone around me will say wow look at her, or am I doing it as a flowing out of my love of God.
In Sunday School, we looked at Psalm 13. That is good stuff. God wants us to be real. With him and with each other. Look at David. Did he really believe that God had left him? No, but he was being honest with how he felt like he was alone. He was digging into the heart and trusting God with his feelings. So many times we find ourselves not going deep in relationships and not really sharing each other's burdens as we should. I know I am guilty of it. That is what we are called to do and that is what we find in Scripture over and over again. We have to be real with God if we want more than just a surface relationship. That goes with any relationship really.
I know for me, it is encouraging when I know I am not alone with hardships. When I can open up with others, like I have about our miscarriage and difficulty with infertility and have had other women share with me they have been there too. Does it make my pain easier? Some days yes and some days no. But, something about not being alone is encouraging. Feeling like I have other women who can stand beside me and say, I have walked that path and I know the pain and the emotions really does help.
So I guess that is my rambled thoughts for the night. I do want to thank those of you who have read this blog and shared with me how it might have encouraged you or shared with me that you have dealt with similar pains. If you haven't figured it out yet, my desire it to be real. I can't handle this alone. BUT, the good news is that I don't. I have Christ. That is enough. And I have the body of Christ here to encourage and point me to Christ, which the only way they know how to encourage me and pray for me is to know the truth of my heart. So, this is what you get, the messed up, crazy, emotional, jacked up, struggling to really trust and believe me.