Thursday, September 20, 2012

Humble Pie

One of the goals in my home is to create a sanctuary, a place to come to rest and rejuvenate.  It cannot be a place of stress or turmoil, and certainly not include anger and strife.  When after a long day at work, home should be the place you want to go.

This week my home hasn't been a sanctuary.  Not for my husband, not even for me.  Probably not for Eleanor either.  You see, I have become a bit "unglued."  I lost my cool on Monday, and I can't seem to find it again.  Alex and I argue, like many normal couples.  Unlike others, however, I tend to make an argument last and last.  And although it is Thursday, there are still remnants of resistance against reconciliation in my heart. 

I believe the culprit is pride.  It is a tactic the devil knows he can win with when it comes to me.  It is my own fatal flaw.  While yes, anger is a danger lurking in the background of my heart, and rears its ugly head in the midst of a disagreement, it is actually the pride that keeps me from submitting and reconciling.  My pride keeps me from admitting I am wrong, and resolving the fight.  It holds me in a cell and cycles me through all my hurtful emotions.

What I love about God, is despite my flaws and failures, and my inability to pull out of a murky situation, he is always there as my life preserver.  To show me the way back to light.  It never ceases to amaze me how he will pop right into a situation to save me.  I have started a new study with the women in my fellowship group on Tuesday night, and it couldn't have been better timing.  We are starting Lisa Terkeurst's "Unglued."  In the first lesson she gives us three strategies to remain on God's side when you feel yourself becoming unglued:
  1. Use truth (What does God's word say?)
  2. Use self-control
  3. Use prayer
Ok, I must admit, in the midst of my anger those are the last 3 things I wish to do!  But they are the answer, and I know this to be true. I need to just find a way to make myself implement these strategies even though all I feel is anger.

So for the last 2 days I have tried and tried.  Use truth, use self-control, use prayerUse truth, use self-control, use prayer.  I can only hope Lisa gets more specific in the weeks to come, because while I know these strategies, they weren't exactly working for me.  I would pray, but become weak again, I would attempt self-control, but yup, was too weak.  And each day I would force myself into the Word, only to find that by the time my husband arrived home from work, the Word had slipped from my memory.

I realize it is my pride keeping me from letting these 3 things work.  This morning, as I forced myself into my daily devotion this is the verse that popped up:

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. "—1 Peter 5:6-8

 The devotion talked about the tactics the devil uses to pull us away from God.  Anger being one of those.  This is how James MacDonald puts it:

Getting serious about prayer always involves running into resistance. Someone doesn’t want you praying without ceasing. The devil would much rather have you worrying about him. Fortunately, God has told us about the devil’s tactics. Satan uses terrorist tactics to unsettle our lives and distract us from giving our attention to the only One with whom we are truly secure. Watch out for the following three enemies of prayer in your life, things that will keep you from praying: anger, doubt and fear.

Recognizing the devil's ways and his presence in this mess helps me to realize that it isn't just me.  I don't just suck that bad.  I have an adversary, and one who is ruthless.  I don't use this as my scapegoat, but as a way to help find resolve from being unglued.  If I am aware of the devil, I can put up my shield against him.  I can loose my pride, release my anger, and ask for forgiveness.  I can submit to my mistakes and change for good.  My home can once again be a place of peace and rest. 

God: I am casting my anger and pride Your way right now. I’m naming them and assigning them under Your care. I’m choosing not to worry about them anymore because You will deal with them under the authority of Jesus’ name, Amen.

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