This chapter was just not nice. God was all in my business. I've had a pretty rough day anyway and then for God to be all convicting and stuff just wasn't very nice. Tonight I would have liked to have heard, "good job....you're awesome...." But no.....The chapter is titled, "Serving leftovers to a Holy God." I'm not even sure where to begin. I'll just type out the entire chapter and let you evaluate your life for yourself. Just kidding, but it might be faster and less painful than outing my own self.
Here's just a little bit of the stuff in this chapter that made me say, "ouch!"
*is my concern more about going to heaven than loving the king?
*I felt no shame with my offerings to God because I took my eyes off scripture and compared myself to others around me.
*Am I giving God a bone with a few scraps? Fetch, God!
*no worship is better than apathetic worship. Malachi 1
*Sacrificing "something" instead of "everything" is evil. Malachi 1
*It's not what you advertise that counts, it's what you really are.
*God measures our lives by how we love.
*pursuing Christ means swimming upstream. If you are not swimming, you are floating downstream. Or use the analogy of going up the downward escalator. Run fast!!!! If not, then you are going down.
*Are you really willing to leave it all behind when Jesus says "Follow me," with no explanations attached?
*God is not someone who can be tacked onto our lives.
*Don't assume you are good soil. Really examine your heart.
Here's my life evaluation....just right out here in the open for all of you to see.... as honest as I can be without more intimate personal details than you care to know. I have certainly made great strides in my faith since accepting Christ about 15 years ago. However, I have a really long way left to go. I confess with great shame that I am really struggling with wanting some good explanations about what God has planned for my future. I know that there's a big course change ahead for me, but I'm pretty clueless about what that is and what I need to do next to make it happen. And feeling pretty dang (edited for you, honey) angry about God's silence and lack of detailed explanations - just about me. He has plenty to say about other people. Frustrated....upset.....crying....yelling....you get the idea. That's also probably more than you wanted to know about me.
I'm also having a hard time with wanting what I want and wanting to have God, too. It doesn't even take a close examination of my heart to know that my wants are not yet closely aligned with God's wants. Trust me when I say that I cannot have both. Sin and God do not go together. This is me not giving you details.
Yes, I evaluate my Christian walk against the people around me more than I lay it up against scripture. I am totally guilty of sacrificing some things to God while not giving him everything. Right now, I'm having a really hard time laying down my whole life and trusting God to do the right thing with it.
Don't misunderstand me here. I know that perfection is not attainable on Earth. I know that God just asks me to continue moving forward. I seriously believe that most days I make an attempt in a Godward direction. I am not one of those people who thinks that they are worthless worms in Christ. I know that I am His beautiful masterpiece. However, I am saying that this chapter absolutely knocked any arrogance out of me when I honestly looked at myself long and hard. I know that seeing where I am struggling is a huge part of the battle towards becoming who God has designed me to be. I'm just saying as honestly as I can that I'm struggling. Today more than most. Don't believe the facade that I have it all figured out or even have a good idea about what I'm doing. Mostly right now, I'm just confused. And for me, confused equals frustrated.
Oh - and pray for my gradebook to turn up. It has disappeared and I have to turn in grades on Friday. This is a critical emergency. I don't think I can accurately falsify enough grades if I don't find it.