The External Act & Internal Reality

Recently I’ve been realizing over and over again how much patience and love God has with me, and how little internal patience and love I have with others.

Sure, I might act patient and loving with someone, but on the inside, I’ve become quite adept at giving a running commentary that doesn’t match the facial expressions I’m showing the world. And that’s not okay. In fact, I’m realizing more and more how a wrong attitude isn’t just not okay or something I need to work on – it’s actually sin that I need to repent of.

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Each morning before I jump into the activities of the day I’ve made it a habit to sit down with a warm drink (English Breakfast tea or black coffee) and spend time with God. This is something my parents instilled in me long ago, and I’ve found that it makes an incredible difference to how the rest of my day goes.

Every morning looks slightly different but generally starts with listening to the Bible as I get ready for the day, brew coffee, etc… Then I curl up with a cozy blanket and dig into God’s word, maybe work through a Bible study book, take some time to read a nonfiction book, and scribble out my thoughts, desires, and mistakes in a prayer journal.

This is when I take the time to search myself and reflect on what I do and don’t do, and how that lines up with who God has called me to be. For weeks I’ve been asking God to give me a servant’s heart at work, helping me to be a blessing. And for a while, I felt like I was doing pretty good with the task.

Until.

Until God showed me that while I often do the right thing, it’s not always with the right heart attitude. I mean, sure it is some of the time. I do genuinely care for those around me and want to serve them.

But at the same time…
I often have a prideful attitude as I work.
I often justify my thoughts and excuse them, instead of repenting of them.
I often amuse myself with internal monologues instead of having compassion.

And, although doing the right thing certainly is a helpful step toward becoming who God wants me to be, God sees my heart. He knows why I’m doing what I’m doing, and He isn’t impressed when I do things for my own glory, instead of His.

So, recently my prayer has changed.

Nowadays I pray that God will help me love Him more. That instead of seeking my own glory, I’ll seek His glory. That instead of comparing myself to others, I’ll only compare myself to His standard of holiness and love.

Because you know what? It’s a lot harder to for me to be prideful and feel like I’m amazing and have altogether when I’m looking to Him as an example instead of other fallen humans. Having Him as my standard reminds me that it is literally impossible for me to please Him on my own. It’s only through Jesus that I can come before Him in righteousness.

And in reality, that’s pretty amazing.

2 thoughts on “The External Act & Internal Reality

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