Everything I Thought I Knew
As I was riding my bike around the neighborhood for a little added calorie burn, I thought about my emotional life the past several years. For several reasons, I have not been at peace or happy about things most of the time. There has been pain of all sorts and more than anything an inability to handle it all adequately. I had shut God out of most of it, I think. I wanted action or an answer immediately and when I didn't get it, all I could see was how miserable I was. Never giving God a chance, I ignorantly thought I was the victim. I just knew that I was doing everything as right as I could and that I should be pitied or helped by everyone else.
As the wind was rushing past me, cooling the sweat running down my skin, I suddenly thought of Paul and how sincere he was in his persecution of the church. He was utterly convinced that stamping out Christ's church was what he was commanded to do. If he was wrong, of all people, he should be pitied or helped because he was so sincerely convinced of his justification. Yet, he wasn't. Not even a little bit. Though his sin was pardoned in his faithful obedience to God later in his life, his persecution of the church and the results of his actions were in no way right or justified.
If Paul, eventual martyr for the Lord, could not be excused for his misdirected sincerity, then how could I even begin to expect that? Well, when in my right mind, I cannot. It is only when I am willing to see myself and my world as it is that I can grow and find justification. Though it can hurt beyond bearing, the truth is the only way to freedom.