I didn't intend for this to be a two part post, but my last post left out something important that I wanted to get in. It feels necessary to complete the thought that I started in the last post. So if you haven't read the post "Slowing down and pleasing God" click on the title and read it first.
As I was reading the bible last night, Genesis 4:6 & 7 seemed to jump out at me. I'd spent awhile prior to picking up the bible just talking to God and by the time I was finished, my heart could not have been laid more bare. It was then that God told me to read His word.
I started in chapter 4 and wasn't very many verses in before God showed me what He was wanting me to see. Chapter 4 verses 6 and 7 reads:
So the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”
There is wholeheartedness: marked by complete earnest commitment : free from all reserve or hesitation.
And halfheartedness: lacking heart, spirit, or interest
There is passionate: capable of, affected by, or expressing intense feeling
And dispassionate: not influenced by strong feeling; especially : not affected by personal or emotional involvement.
If I don't choose to serve God, with my every move, my every action, then sin lies at the door.
I'm not talking about the sudden sins that accidentally occur. The word spoken too quickly, deeds done before thought. I'm talking about premeditated sin. For me, the very act of saying I can go so much over the speed limit without being fined is a sin of my heart.
These feelings are intense and play out in the smallest things. If I'm holding two cups, one filled slightly higher than another, for me the very act of taking the one less full is my way of preferring you. Should I take the "better" one for myself, I have, in essence, chosen not to give you something I deem to be the best. Which means I chose my own pleasure over yours. And putting myself first isn't the example that Christ set up for me to follow.
It's hard to live that way. Not because I'm giving stuff up, because when I do give something up I generally don't even notice it. It only becomes difficult when I take the best for myself and I cannot enjoy it because I know that I've already chosen wrong.
To you this may seem foolishness, but for me it is the only way I can be a living example of a selfless Christ that walked this earth. It is the only way to a truly happy life.
Choosing to obey, keep quiet when tempted to argue, and to choose the best for others over the best for myself, is my way of ruling over sin. In those moments of choice though, I sense sins desire for me. Not only that but I feel my desire for sin, only to realize how truly undesirable it is only mere seconds after I've chosen wrong.
Choosing the hot chocolate with more marshmellows, getting where I'm going 6 minutes faster because I sped, getting 20 minutes more sleep because I ignored whoever was calling, none of it has ever felt worth it. And likely never will.
I hope I do well.