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Monday, February 25, 2013

Old Life

Do you ever look through old journals, emails, letters or other personal things that you had written two, four, five or even ten years ago?  I do.  Not often, but every once in a while I'll come across an old diary or notebook and flip through it.  It's interesting to do that.  To read something that I wrote years ago; to get a glimpse of who I was then - a glimpse that is more and more enlightening as I grow older and have the perspective that age and time brings.  As each year passes and I grow closer to the Lord and He opens my eyes more to the sinful nature of my own heart, it becomes more and more humbling to read personal things that I wrote in high school.

I recently
came across some old emails that I wrote several years ago, addressed to my best friend at the time.  They were written before I accept Christ, and it's obvious.  It is both humbling and convicting to get such an honest and open view of just how selfish, rebellious and manipulative my heart was before God got ahold of me.

Humbling because I cannot argue with evidence of my own pen that I was a wretched, unregenerate sinner and knew full well that I was living in sin, yet did not care.  The girl I was then only cared about one thing: herself and her own pleasure - and she was willing to do whatever it took to get what she wanted, no matter the cost.

Convicting because I know that even though I am now saved - I am a precious daughter of God, forgiven and washed clean - I still walk in the same body.  A frail, weak, human body that can (and still does) sin.  I still have to struggle between the choice to obey or the choice to rebel.  There is still that temptation to ignore the will of God and do things my own way.

It is so easy at times to forget where I came from.  To ignore and forget the fact that I haven't always been a child of God.  To self-righteously think that I am better than someone else, and to judge them when they sin.  Reading these old letters helped remind me that I once was just as lost as some of the people that I can be so quick to judge.
These letters also remind me that it isn't hard to stray away from truth.  It doesn't take a lot for a person to fall, and it generally doesn't happen overnight.  It's a slow, steady progress.  So slow that a person don't even realize that it's happening until it's too late.
 We need to make sure we stay humble and honest with ourselves and others so that we can avoid falling into our old lives.  Everyday, we need to evaluate our lives and ask ourselves and trusted friends, am I walking worthy of the Lord?  Am I showing the mark of true Christianity in my life?  

Marks of the True Christian

"Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." 
~ Romans 12:9-21 (ESV)

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