Wednesday, March 4, 2009

One week, no alcohol

God of mercy, come
Into the hidden places of our hearts.
Christ of compassion, come
Into the broken places of our world.
Spirit of life, come
Into the polluted places of our lives.
Forgive us, heal us, redeem us,
Lead us from death to eternal life.


This morning I am wondering if I have learned anything so far from my dry week? Have I come closer to understanding my sinfulness, need for Christ, or what sacrifice is?

The answer... not really... not yet... but taking time this morning to reflect helped me gain some perspective.

I am in the place right now where I am feeling like "I" can do it. "I" can withstand drinking and haven't really been challenged that much, other than that I want to drink a glass of wine with dinner and don't.

I complain.

I talk about it with Matt and feel good about myself for being "strong", "holy" and "sacrificial" enough to give something up.

Yuck!

Well, I need Jesus just like everyone else. Even if I could give up wine on my own, without God's help, I am learning how much I want others to notice that about me. This week I am going to focus on my personal journey, no comparison, no seeking for outward approval... but a heart that wants to sacrifice because Christ sacrificed for me.

Humility
Confidence in my identity in Christ alone

4 comments:

george said...

You've hit on an interesting and important item here with the comment about wanting other people to notice how good / strong / whatever you are. Spending some time with that one could be a good thing. I think we all do this way more often than we imagine - seems ingrained somehow - wanting others to see our good characteristics and deeds. If I recall, there is something in the bible about the best kind of charity being anonymous. And there are plenty of secular (well, I think they are secular) cliches about character being what you do when nobody is watching. Does it come down to doing the "right" thing simply because it's right? It seems similar to the notion that we are saved not because of our good deeds and actions, but through the grace of God alone, so long as we have faith. Sorry if I'm not getting all of that quite right, and feel free to correct me.

traci said...

I think you hit the nail on the head George. Saved by grace alone, so long as we have faith, not by works... the verse actually ends with "so that no one can boast".

The more I let that sink in, the more my sacrifice unites me with grace and allows me to humbly walk with God rather than proudly in the eyes of men.

george said...

Huh. Didn't know about the "so that no one can boast" part. When I read that, and just being back from a family visit to NYC, it brought back lots of memories of being berated by my parents (and sometimes friends) for "bragging." Not being a bragger was a big thing in thing in my upbringing. At that time (1960's-70's) bragging was considered very uncool. Which makes it even more interesting, because it then suddenly becomes more about what other people think ... oh, how convoluted can I make this? What knots we twist ourselves into :-)

And you've also brought up pride. Very often people say to one another "I'm proud of you" - especially to their children. Is that a bad thing to say? What if someone says they are proud of you for giving up wine? What's an appropriate response? More knots ...

Anonymous said...

by the way- i love the little prayer at the brginning. i've been using it this week. love, mom