Tuesday, March 05, 2013

the most destructive sin in my life right now.

Last week I saw this quote by Tim Keller on Pinterest and it cut me straight to the heart:

source: pinterest
Almost instantly, I wanted to put away the whole idea for another day, but that night I found myself really thinking about which sin it was for me {I have lots to choose from!}.

I had one sin that came to mind almost instantly when I saw it, but it turns out I was just looking on the surface. God had a deeper sin surgery in mind for me, and He was taking me through it that very week. Ahhh, it was rough.

You know, the longer I walk with the Lord, the more I feel the difference of what sin does in my heart compared to being in His presence.

When sin seeps into my heart, it starts to feels like a poison to my soul. I can go from full of joy and lightness to heavy burning and turmoil in my heart in no time at all. I hate it.

It's such a noticeable change- but it's not because I know it with my mind {I mean, I used to love that sin feeling, and would let it brew}. I think it's only because God is working on making me a new creation- giving me a new heart that doesn't like sin anymore.

Seeing sin in my heart, for me, is like working out but so much worse. Identifying sin is like taking your heart through so much work and pain you want to die, but it feels so good when it's over. You feel so much better and lighter when it's done, and you grow stronger.

I don't know if that makes sense at all, but as much as my flesh doesn't want to be shown my sin, God makes my heart want to be shown my sin so I can grow and get healthier. And I have started to hate the sin more because I can't stand taking the poison- it tastes so bad- so nasty- when you have had the living water.

When sin enters your heart, you know it's poisonous to you, and you have to cry out to the only Healer you know to keep it from overtaking your body.

What I thought was a simple sin when I first saw the picture, God later revealed at it's root.

My worst sin? The one I am most defensive about? The one I won't even admit to most of the time?

I think it's pride.

Whether I'm not trusting God, or I'm fearing for the future, or I'm holding something against somebody,  it always comes back to this one issue- pride.

It's the life sucker, the joy stealer, and the anger and sin initiator in me.

When I think I have rights, when I think I deserve more credit, when I think I have control, when I am offended- it's because I feel I'm worth more than I really am. I'm placing myself higher than others.

When I worry- I'm telling God His plan isn't good enough for me to trust in.

When I think I should be in control- I'm saying my own opinion is worth more than His {or anyone else's}.

When I am offended- I feel my "due" rights and feelings have been violated, and it angers or upsets me.

When sin enters my heart, the gateway continually seems to be pride.

I always think I deserve more.

And that at its very root is what caused the fall of Lucifer, and the fall of all mankind in the very beginning.

Wanting to elevate ourselves above God is the ultimate sin, and it causes us endless pain, suffering and misery, and a life apart from God for eternity.

Wanting to elevate ourselves above other people causes us very much the same in the temporary world- we only end up in pain and misery and separate ourselves from others.

Saying in our hearts, "I should be allowed to, or I deserve more than...." is a sin that causes us so much anguish and turmoil in our hearts, and we don't even realize it.

Placing ourselves higher than God and others brings us not only pain, but punishment too.

What does God say about pride?

He hates it:
The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.  Proverbs 8:13


He will punish it:

I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant, and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless. Isaiah 13:11

Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor. Proverbs 18:12

The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled, and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day. Isaiah 2:11


It will only cause our own destruction and humiliation in the end:

A man of wrath stirs up strife,and one given to anger causes much transgression.
One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor. Proverbs 29:22-23
For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14:11
You save a humble people, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them down. 2 Samuel 22:28
In Leviticus, God details all the laws He gives for the people so that they will be set apart from the world- so that He could be in a covenant with them and be their God. In chapter 26, He tells them what will happen if they abhor - if they hate from their soul with pride in their hearts- the laws He has given them, and disobey them. This is how much God detests their pride:

4“But if you will not listen to me and will not do all these commandments, 15if you spurn my statutes, and if your soul abhors my rules, so that you will not do all my commandments, but break my covenant, 16then I will do this to you: I will visit you with panic, with wasting disease and fever that consume the eyes and make the heart ache. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. 17I will set my face against you, and you shall be struck down before your enemies. Those who hate you shall rule over you, and you shall flee when none pursues you. 18And if in spite of this you will not listen to me, then I will discipline you again sevenfold for your sins, 19and I will break the pride of your power, and I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze. 20And your strength shall be spent in vain, for your land shall not yield its increase, and the trees of the land shall not yield their fruit.

And He goes on to detail what will happen if they continue to be prideful against Him... and it's not pretty.

God hates pride.

He disciplines us, His people whom He loves- so we will be broken, so we will be humbled, and know He is God and we are not.

In my own eyes, I don't sin, but God knows my heart.

I justify myself, but in doing so, I'm committing the very sin God hates.

It's so hard to write- it's awful. I am so full of pride and self-love every single day, and it comes out over and over and over again. Ahhhh.

I want to kill it. I can't come before God with this poison in my heart.

It hurts me in so many ways.

I cannot be holy, I cannot awake in His likeness if my heart is full of pride.

My heart needs Jesus to the very core, and I know I can't do it on my own. To think I could be good enough would be pride itself.

That's why what Jesus did is so crazy.

I was full of sin and pride and didn't even have the sense to realize it on my own, when He rescued me and paid my ransom so that I could be His own.

He had such great mercy on me to show me favor when I reared my ugly head in pride against Him and sinned.

I deserve the punishment of Leviticus 26 and MORE. Who am I to stand before a Holy God with such sin in my heart??

I'm not worthy. Only Jesus is worthy, because He was righteous and without sin- and He had so much love for me, He brought my punishment on Himself.

And knowing what He did- that He did that for me- makes sinning now even worse to me.

How could I bring such an attitude now, when I know what Christ has done?

It's hideous.

But God shows me this pride now, and He does it because He loves me so much He cannot leave me where I was before. He wants to discipline my heart because I am His child.

He is doing surgery on me, because He loves me enough to put me through that pain so that I can live.

Sin is my cancer, and He's removing each and every tumor one by one, because that's how much He loves me.

It's so painful at the moment, but He reminds me:
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11


And what does He tell me? He is doing it because He loves me, and He gives me instruction:

 19Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.

If you hear His voice- if He is calling you to repent- don't deny Him today. Don't keep the door shut.

He loves you, and He promises you a great reward for opening the door to your heart.

It's painful at the moment, but it's so worth it in the end. 

Jesus died so that we could live- and live more abundantly- not less. There is such freedom in leaving sin behind. I can tell you that firsthand.

You are so loved by an awesome God, my friend. He is worthy of all of you- don't be afraid to turn to Him and show Him all of your heart.

He knows you from the very depths of your soul, and nothing will surprise Him, I promise. Give Him your heart- confess your sin. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Oh, thank you Jesus for allowing us to live and for killing sin in our hearts. Please don't let us to ourselves- we need you in every thought, to put down any pride or anything that sets itself up against the knowledge of you. Thank you for your sacrifice, and for your mercy toward sinners, for it is GREAT. We love you Jesus. Change our hearts. Tear us apart until we don't even look like ourselves, and we awake in your likeness.


How have you seen Jesus working in your heart against sin lately?

Have you found that it bothers you more too?

How has He changed you recently?

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow! I have been following your blog for quite awhile now and I am continually challenged and built up in Him at the same time! Thank you for being so transparent and bringing truth to my life today. He has been showing me the same thing. I have a tendency to see my sin as less than that of my unbelieving husband, when did I get such a ridiculous idea? Instead of praying for his salvation, I have been more fixed on his sin & issues, when the real issue..for all of us...is rooted in the gospel. We need truth, we need Him! Pride has such a way of creeping in when we compare ourselves to others. Somehow, I forget that everyone has different struggles..something I read once that made me think.."Don't judge me because I sin differently than you"..convicting. Thank you so much for this post today, I am so grateful for this blog, you have no idea how much of a blessing it is! Thank you, and keep writing!
Angel M

Lesley said...

Amen. Mandy, I am listening to a Tim Keller sermon this afternoon that fits in well with this. You should check it out if you have 37 minutes sometime. It's a pod cast from 1-23-2013 called, "Justified by Faith"

Anonymous said...

You are echoing the exact thoughts God has been placing on my heart lately. Pride is so sneaky and destructive and often masked by my people pleasing personality (which is also rooted in pride). Thanks so much for sharing and being authentic on your blog. Everything I read challenges me and calls me to a Holy, Set-Apart life with Jesus. Thank your for your insight. I pray that we can all learn as the God of the Universe and our Father does sin surgery and breaks me into pieces.
Emily

Amy said...

OMGOSH! This one just jumped out at me. Pride takes many forms.

God Bless and have a wonderful day.

Ashley Elizabeth said...

Beautiful post today! I recently found your blog on Pinterest and I've been drawn to it daily ever since. You really have me thinking today and I needed that.

Lindsey Houck said...

Thank you for your transperency sister in Christ. I experience these exact emotions- grateful the Lord is sanctifying us and making us more like Him daily. What a precious jewel you are, someone that I can follow on blogger knowing truly loves Christ, praise God. Looking forward to reading more of your posts and exhorting each other in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ! The Lord's riches Blessings to you!!!

Bekah @Lemons & Snickers said...

Ohh...my word.

This post?

Spoke intensely to my heart.

I too am full of pride.

I think that I deserve a break, that I deserve nice things to be said about me.
The list goes on (embarrassingly).

Thank YOU for sharing your heart, for taking a step away from that pride and showing others we too can benefit from a little "heart surgery".

habecker said...

:teary eyed:
1 Samuel 15:23
New International Version (NIV)
23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,(A)
and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected(B) the word of the Lord,
he has rejected you as king.”

Catherine M said...

preach it! I was up until 3:00 this morning talking about this very thing with my husband. And, I know it's pride for me because I am so afraid/unwilling to let it be exposed. Jesus, free me...humble me...and grant me the grace to embrace the refining process!

Mandy said...

oh I LOVE your thoughts, Angel! We all do tend to think our sins are less than others in the most deceptive way we don't even realize and start comparing-I think you are so right, "We need truth, we need Him!" Thank you so much for sharing your heart and encouraging mine today!!

Mandy said...

Oh yes, I would love to!! Thank you for sharing the info!

Mandy said...

Oh thank you for your encouragement, Emily! It blesses me to hear your sweet words. I am so glad we are in this journey together, and He can do it! :DDDD

Mandy said...

oh you are such an encouragement to me today!!! Thank you. I'm so so so glad we get to do life together with Jesus :D

Mandy said...

Oh, your list sounds so very familiar! :) Thank you for your sweet words today!!! You've blessed me this afternoon, girlie!!!

Mandy said...

oh that cuts to the quick, doesn't it? We don't see it like that until His word pierces our hearts, do we?! Thank you for sharing, sweet friend!!

Mandy said...

Oh, Amen and Amen!!! Thank you Jesus for doing it in us!! He is so good!!

Mandy said...

Thank you friend!! I'm so glad to hear it!! :D

Mandy said...

much love to you, Amy! I hope you have a wonderful day!! :D

Ashley Ditto said...

Thank you for posting this, amazing

Joya Towne said...

Great post. How utterly human, this pride thing.. Funny thing about Pride, for me anyway, is that I really have to stop and think sometimes to realize that's the thing that I'm stumbling over. Your post just says it so perfectly. "I cannot be holy, I cannot awake in His likeness if my heart is full of pride." So very true.

Mandy said...

It is so weird that we don't even see it, isn't it? Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Joya! I always love hearing from you, girlie!! :D

JennyBC said...

Blown away....Weeping at my own sin.
I am dealing with an issue right NOW that has shown me this same thing. It has cut to the quick. It has left scars. It is embarrassing. And I am appalled at how I have justified, reasoned and pardoned myself (like that accomplishes anything). This week has been one of the hardest I have had in a while because I have had to face some ugly things about myself. On top of that, we are doing "not a fan" at church and the videos nailed. me. to. the wall. I mean God is intent on making this point to me. My independent, I can-do-it, in my own strength mindset is going to be ripped from me or I will die from this poison inside me. I will decide to be a fan of Jesus or a whole hearted follower. Your words expressed my heart so well. I need Jesus more than anything because right now, I look no different to Him than the unrepentant unbeliever. I am so grateful He never gives up on us. I cannot believe He is so patient with us. In awe of the only ONE who is really AWESOME

Anonymous said...

This is my main sin too. It is a constant struggle, but God continues to show me the sins that have branched off from my pride in my heart. God has continually showed grace to me through His Word in assuring me that I'm His, and that He is here. That is something that is so much better to think about than myself, or what I wish I looked like, or redoing the past so that I would look better to other people and have more relationships today. The life of my mind can be gruesome, and it constantly needs to be cleansed by the blood of the Savior. Thank you so much for being so open Mandy, and for all your posts about living like Jesus today as a woman. It is so encouraging for a high school girl like me! Thank you for making much of Jesus!
Sincerely,
Lee

Anonymous said...

Mandy,
This is the one that won't let me submit to my husband. Write and preach on sister! I found you on pinterest a while back. Congratulations on your new baby boy. This also helped me with some scripture I was having trouble with. HE is using you.
Love,
Rachel

Danielle Fields said...

Mandy,
I recently started following your FB page which led to reading your blog and I have to thank you! Thank you for this "sneak peak" into your heart. Thank you for honestly sharing what God is doing in your life and allowing Him to use you! I fight a daily battle with pride and this really reached my heart.
Thank you,
Danielle

Lori said...

I just found you and I am so thankful I did. This was a painful post to read but God used you to speak to me.

Tricia Anson said...

Thank you so much for sharing. I just came across your blog through a friend's fb post and I am so thankful I did! God is hard at work in my home right now and I needed to read this so badly, I shudder to think that I can very easily come in between some amazing growth in my marriage and even my husband's relationship with God because of my pride, and clearly my own growth as well! Very thankful to have read this today.

Suzanne Cole said...

I love each and every one of your posts! Thank you so much! I have been battling pride for so long, I have a ways to go of course, but looking back at how unhappy it has made me and every one around me! Yuck! It takes constant care not to let it creep back in! But the loving peace He gives for being humble feels so wonderful! Pride is definitely poison! And it is such a tricky one because it is so hard to see it in yourself.

Martina Shanley said...

He is doing surgery on me, because He loves me enough to put me through that pain so that I can live.

This so struck a nerve for me! I am new to your beautiful site, and that sentence just stopped me dead in my tracks. My son was born was a medical condition and had part of his skull removed at 3 months old-- and if I can put my sweet, perfect infant through surgery so that he can live, why do I fight my Heavenly Father when he is just trying to do the same for me? Thank you for such a wonderful site! I cannot wait to keep exploring. :-)

Rachelle said...

Yep. Me too. My big sin is pride too. And, I'm a pastor's wife! I was pretty offended when it was first brought to my attention... BUT, that is because the truth cut deep. Sigh. Thank God that the truth sets us free and that when we confess we can find forgiveness and grace. It's a continual surrender. Thanks for this post!

Anonymous said...

I stumbled on to your blog because of the same meme on Pinterest. LOL
My Faith does not depend on religion but rests in G-d. I don't envision G-d or Jesus as you do, yet, your blog made me smile and be grateful. The Love that surrounds us all is mighty Mighty and it is a blessing to see/hear it spill forth.
Have a wonderful Sunday, and thank you for writing <3

Anonymous said...

I have an unbelieving husband too! And unbelieving parents, parents in law and siblings. I do the same too, looking down on them in my heart. It is the worst sin of all. And I agree, this post brought tears to my eyes, its something that I struggle with every moment! I just cant thank Jesus is enough that, though I am full of pride. He still loves me and cleanses me.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for listening to the Lord. And blogging about this. I've been going through a dry season with the Lord and this is inr of many reasons n God Bless you, and may he keep you !

HIS daughter said...

Wow! Not going to lie I read the quote and the first line and switched to another tab because I was nervous to think about in depth what that is in my life! Then I came back and was so convicted..thank you for having the courage to be so raw and open it is convicting and inspiring. Jesus has definitely been working in my heart on some particular sins lately and the longer He works the more I notice them if that makes sense. I am excited for a new week tomorrow and this has given me a gentle reminder of the things I need to be surrendering! Painful but I KNOW it will be worth it! :)
Blessings!
Katy

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