I spent time reflecting on last year and decided there was much I would do differently. Regret is too strong a word and I've tangled with guilt too many times to dwell; however, I do want to learn. If 2010 was a year of remorse & redemption, then 2011 was a year of chiseling. My heels were plowed into my own self-will, and refused to yield much ground to change.

For lack of better elocution: It's time for fear and my own rebellion to cease getting in the way of what God is trying to do with my life. 

This brought me to James, which is a book that I avoided because reading it always left me feeling like a terrible Christian. (Again, the guilt.) I was reading through it last week, struggling with the same "not quite measuring up" feelings, when two unexpected verses dripped all through the cracks and dryness of performance and saturated my soul with hope:

"Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom
because judgement without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. 
Mercy triumphs over judgement!
James 2.12 (NIV)

And the Holy Spirit tucked His finger under my chin, lifted my head to gaze at Christ and said:

"This especially applies to you, dear one." 

I cannot express how that truth shakes the core of me & how if I understood this fully, it would completely change how I treat God, my husband, my friends & family, complete strangers, and particularly myself. I don't believe James unintentionally wrote about a law that breathes freedom in the midst of his exhortations toward action.

Have you ever met someone who has taken the truth of what Christ did and allowed it to radically change them? I mean deeply shake up and turn over all of their conceptions of who they are, and who others are, in light of Christ?

It is after this last year that I realized I am most definitely not one of those people and I absolutely long to be; and, that I cannot be one of those people, those God-bringers, on my own.

They not only speak and act as if they will be judged by the law that brings freedom, but they understand that they will be judged and it doesn't scare them.

It doesn't scare them because they have allowed the Gospel to instill the truth that Christ really has taken care of all of it and they fling their world-weary souls on their Savior and never look back.

Oh, to be one of them.

Rather than one of those waiting in fear & anxiety for the other shoe to drop, because surely the words "Judge" and "Lover" cannot be synonymous, ...

... or those who assume in hard-heartedness that such a love could not exist, that One who claims to be a source of complete freedom, but requires so much, cannot be trusted ...

... instead, to be among the joyful who run into the throne room of Christ and throw their arms around their Lawgiver, because they understood and have been longing to finally be restored to the One who judged them with mercy. 

Who gave them living water that they drank of & in turn, lavished on others.
Who gave them unshakable security & refreshing humility that they accepted & in turn, loved people deeply.
Who erased the striving, fear, guilt & shame that they learned not to run back to & in turn, were living testimonies of being more than conquerors.

To become one of these is a resolution worth keeping. 

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful resolution - I desire that as well. Thanks for the reminder. :)