Last Sunday I had a really great day. My daughter and I met up with my mom and her husband at the Mall of America. I have so much fun with them. We walk around and giggle and act silly.
We bought chocolate at Lindt and had fresh guacamole and chips. It was just a really great day and a much needed break from the daily grind.
As I lay in bed that night thinking about the day, I started feeling guilty. Why? No good reason. I just felt almost like the day had been so fun and easy that I must be missing something.
As I lay there thinking, I felt like the Holy Spirit reminded me that God is the source of every good and perfect gift. I shouldn’t feel some weird, misplaced guilt over having a light-hearted day. “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” 1 Timothy 6:17
Yes we should be fighting the good fight and fight against the desires of the flesh. But it’s ok to laugh and have fun and enjoy the gifts that God richly provides.
I was folding laundry the other night when condemnation struck again. I dump all my family’s laundry on my bed and sort and fold my way through the giant pile every night. For whatever reason my mind always wanders to dumb things I’ve said and done in the past. I was going over those same stupid mistakes and feeling the familiar waves of condemnation rolling over me and weighing down on me. So much so that I just layed my head, somewhat pathetically, on my bed and buried my face in the clean laundry.
The voice of the Holy Spirit interrupted this little condemnation sesh with an abrupt, “You could have joy right now.” Like, HELLO, you need to reclaim this time. Stop falling into the old trash heap and letting the enemy beat you down.
The condemnation I was feeling was not from God at all.
Another instance happened today. I had responded a bit snippily to a woman on my TSW support page. It was a post from a woman who was only a week or so into topical steroid withdrawal and wailing about “when will this end?!?!?! Give me at time frame and it better be days!!!” I was incredulous and irritated because most of the people in the group have been suffering horribly for a long time and yet maintain a positive attitude. Then she promptly responded even more snippity-ish (yes, I’m making up a word!) and back and forth it went.
Later that day when I was singing worship songs when I got the feeling I needed to apologize to this woman. “Hmm…. That’s an interesting thought. Let me file that away for later.” Then later then day when I sat down to read my Bible and pray, I closed my eyes and BAM! “You need to apologize to her.”
I knew it was conviction from the Holy Spirit.
Did I want to apologize? No. Is it something God would want me to do?- Humble myself and be gracious..? Yes.
I sucked it up and wrote her a quick message to apologize for being harsh and that I wished her well on her TSW journey. I let it go and went back to praying.
When God convicts it is not to bury us alive in feelings of shame and worthlessness. It is always quick and to the point and it comes with a solution to make it right. In this case I just needed to apologize for my part. Because that’s what I responsible for.
The good news is that when we do respond quickly to conviction it brings us closer to the heart of God. Conversely, when we recieve the spirit of condemnation from the enemy, it does absolutely nothing to help us become more Christ-like.
We all need to be aware of the thought patterns we have in our lives that may be building us up or bringing us down.
“For as he thinks within himself, so he is.”