I was reading in Chambers My Utmost For His Highest today and he says... "Have you "renounced the hidden things of shame" in your life— the things that your sense of honor or pride will not allow to come into the light? You can easily hide them. Is there a thought in your heart about anyone that you would not like to be brought into the light? Then renounce it as soon as it comes to mind— renounce everything in its entirety until there is no hidden dishonesty or craftiness about you at all. Envy, jealousy, and strife don’t necessarily arise from your old nature of sin, but from the flesh which was used for these kinds of things in the past (see Romans 6:19 and 1 Peter 4:1-3 ). You must maintain continual watchfulness so that nothing arises in your life that would cause you shame."
I can honestly say at this moment in my life, I have no feeling of bitterness or hate for anyone in the world, no jealousy or strife beyond breaking up the sibling rivalry with my kids. And honestly, not a thought of lust toward anyone but the person I'm married to. (and I'm not sure I would even call it lust, but a proper sexual attraction or whatever...) But if there is something that is in my heart that I probably need to renounce, it's hurt from various rejection situations. As much as I try, and as much as I've improved on the issue of rejection, it is still difficult for me. I manage to keep myself under control, but underneath sometimes I'm really going through a healing process of things that are just hard to get beyond.
Second, I know I need to renounce my resentment with people who chip away at what precious little time I do have for myself. It is hard for me to not allow my resentment to come to light...I am always "on the edge" when I sense someone ready to block my time out for them that I was so looking forward to renewing myself with. I know that to really be used of God, one has to be prepared to be inconvenienced a lot. I feel like I can roll with most punches on that issue, but sometimes when I'm just really spent and so looking forward to doing something I want to do...it's hard not to at least get an edge to my voice. I know God has to work this out of me.
Part of me needs to get bolder with what things I can change. Things that I truly don't "have" to do. For instance, I know Joy really wanted us to come to lunch today. That would have made her so happy and I would have enjoyed it too. But later a part of me would have resented not having time to ourselves as a couple. So I made the right choice. We said no and had our day. And it is wonderful!!!
Maybe part of what I am dealing with in my negative emotions with this is that all relationships in my life are not like my relationship with Joy. She wasn't the least bit upset that we didn't come for lunch today. She was looking forward to the possibility but when we said no she wasn't the slightest bit irritated about it. My fear of those who get irritated is what sometimes drives me to make poor decisions.
So I guess what God needs to get out of me right now is first of all, ANY fear of what someone might think or do, and second - resentment over anything I might have to inevitably end up doing when I was so longing to do something else. I know...in time...my time will come...just like it is right this moment.
Larry is watching one of his shows on ESPN right now and catching up with the sports world so that gives me a moment to write. I have a zillion projects in my briefcase and on my laptop...but I promised myself I wouldn't work while we're away.
Larry's show is almost up...so time to go. Tonight my prayer is that God would help me renounce anything in myself that I know he's not happy with. I love Him so much, I don't want anything to be between us, and if being even slightly irritated at somebody can affect my relationship with the Lord then it's something I need to work on.