There are times when I am so completely fed up and disgusted with myself that I can hardly stand it. I see my fleshly side in all its glory, and . . . it disgusts me. I’m so thankful for redemption in Christ, and that it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me!
Every so often, though, I still see flesh cropping up its hideous head in my life, and I’m furious all over again.
I went to Wal-Mart today. And I saw the coldness and apathy of my own heart blatantly in front of me.
I was in a hurry, and I was already somewhat frustrated because of the reason I even had to be at Wal-Mart during the busiest time of day (my phone broke and I had to return it). I hurried into the store, and headed for the customer service counter. Just as I was about to reach the counter, another young couple with a baby cut in front of me. I dangled my mouth open at the backs of the tattooed, tank-top clad couple in front of me for awhile as they were being assisted in returning some baby formula for their screaming baby. I was miffed, and I was muttering about it to myself. Finally someone else came to the counter to help me, and I went about my business.
I had a few other things to get, so I headed out into the store. I saw a girl walking towards me. She was covered in piercings, wearing ripped black clothing, and had hair streaked with unnatural colors. She looked at me with dark eyes–eyes which were full of desperation and begging. I gave her a half smile and hurried past.
A mom with several young children was trying to keep her tribe under control. As she yelled at them, shushed them, and pushed them around, they only got worse. She was frenzied, and the kids were only getting worse. My attitude towards them was one of sheer condescension.
There were a few other things like this that happened during my time in the store. As I hurried out and dodged traffic to try to get back in time for the dinner being prepared back at home, I was faced with stark reality–
The stark reality of my sinful heart when left on its own and not brought under submission of the true King who sits on the throne.
Oh, Jesus . . . how did I not see that that was a poor couple with a sick baby until after I had walked away? How could I pass by a girl who was begging me with her eyes to talk to her? How could I have such a horrible attitude towards that mom . . . when there are so many areas of my life where it would be so legitimate for someone to look at me like that? How can I say that I care so much about the poor desperate people in other countries, but I have no concern or second-thought about these hurting broken people right here in my own community? How can I be so cold? How can I think I can throw the first stone?
Forgive me, Lord! Break this heart of mine–soften it with the oil that is You. Open my eyes to see people how You see them. Teach me to love as You love. Enlarge the capacity of my heart, God! Break me. This is my desire–to be a vessel, broken and rebuilt to be entirely spent for You, and You alone. To glorify You with my life! Oh, God . . . go to work on this heart of mine, and please–don’t be gentle. This heart needs some drastic work. I’m devastated when I see how cold I’ve allowed myself to become to those around me.
I refuse to go on living in hypocrisy.