I have been deeply impacted by so much cultural talk about overcoming low self-esteem, having confidence and believing in myself, that I have missed the highest calling that God requires of his children. I have missed something so important that I can’t know God or even get close to him without it. In my quest to find myself and live out my purpose I have neglected the first requirement of being a child of God. Attempting to protect myself from hurt, I have even gone in the other direction, turning my head on this one fundamental.
So how do I know this about myself you might be wondering. I mean from the outside you will see, I love to serve my family. I will serve the poor. I will let people have their way quite often. I will even keep quiet when I know someone is wrong about something. I will reach out to the homeless, hungry, needy and addicted without reservation.
But tonight, God crushed me with a painful reality. I might have all those things down pat. But I have missed something right in front of my face. When I feel insulted or even teased by my husband I respond… well… with selfish disrespect. My words cut to core of who his is, or who he fears he is not as a man. My words can be like daggers to his heart.
I’ve done it hundreds of times. I did it today. When he brought it to my attention I wasn’t expecting it. But looking back on the exchange I see for the first time I didn’t try to look for a way to justify it. It actually shamed me. It shamed me because I realized (without a fight) that I hurt him. I hurt my husband in an effort to be right and prove a point.
I claim to follow God. God’s word says, “Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing” (1 Pet. 3:9). I have failed miserably.
I feel like I can’t keep writing this blog every day not come clean to you. I can’t have multitudes of people complimenting me and not be completely transparent to you. I have failed. Miserably. Today.
Jesus said, “Those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (Matt. 23:12).
The thought of God having to humble me honestly scares me out of my mind. I don’t want the hand of God to press me anymore. I don’t want to serve him because my life stinks when I don’t. I want to be a willing sacrifice. I want to be a humble, voluntary servant. I want to put other people’s hearts, especially my husband’s first. I want that to be what flows from my lips because that it what occupies my heart.
I praise you for your mercy. Today you have reminded me without it I would be lost. Forgive me for my blindness. Heal the hurt in my heart that causes me to wound those I love. Take my heart and shape it with your hands. Make my life be an imitation of you. Not just what people see, but from the inside out, make me look like you.