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Friday, January 31, 2014

"Regret"...Who owns it? You get to choose.

   The thoughts come after. After the action...or the words...or the lie. My inside-the-head justification conversations.
     "Yeah, well...the truth would have hurt them much worse. Should I have told them that I was out of grace and the idea of a whole evening with someone as challenging as they are is...well...just not how I choose to spend my time tonight. I've had a long hard day and I don't want to be with you."
     "I know I am not honoring him but I really don't care. After yesterday, if he wants that done he can do it himself.  It's a ridiculous chore anyway and I have important things to do."
     "Sometimes people just need to hear the truth and need to hear it with a loud voice.  I'm so over their hypocrisy. It makes me sick. It was time. It was soo time. Someone needed to call them out and today, I decided the time had come and it would be me."
    
     The next voice I hear cradles and cuts simultaneously. 
    "So you lied and let them down?  So what?  You're right, the truth would have been much worse. Remember what happened last week? Why put yourself through that again? You've done more than your share of that relationship." I feel a pat on the back. "I think you should do whatever you want tonight. Pamper yourself. You do so much for other people. You deserve it."
     "Good choice about not doin' that chore, sister!" I get a high five. "I can't wait to see his face when he gets home and sees you didn't do what he asked you. That'll show him." A nudge to my shoulder. "You go girl. Maybe now he'll see. Maybe now he'll get it. He should appreciate how great you are. How good he has it. You're a saint." 
     "You were so right-on tonight when you called them out! They deserved everything you said to them. Bravo! Someone had to set them straight. How dare they pretend to be one thing in church and something very different in real life?" I hear a chuckle. "The truth will set them free, right?" another nudge.
  
     The last voice breaths a salve of "Truth" and it stings. 
     "The evening you said 'No' to tonight, I ordained. You have missed my good purpose and plan. You say you are out of grace. I say, even as you deserve nothing, I sent my son to die for you out of the greatest love and His grace never ends. And do I need to remind you how I grieve over your lie? Imagine instead, setting down your pride long enough to be blessed in a valuable friendship that I orchestrated for just those hours. Do you remember how challenging you can be?"
     "You know what I am going to say about this. I know you do. Obey him. I have set order in marriage for a reason. Do what he asks out of obedience. Honor him and watch him rise up in the desire to lead you well. You are not a saint. I called you to be his Helpmate."
     "Know that you're righteousness is ugly in my sight. You are not the judge. Have you ever been a hypocrite? Do you think being right gives you the right to something? Are you God? No. You are a sinner. Stand on the line. Will you throw the first stone? Will you?"  
     There is a knock at the door. I open it, ready for anything besides conviction. 
     I find "Shame" on the threshold and he enters my house. He comes in power of the second voice and fills up the room. I cower under his heavy oppression and close my eyes. 

     When I open them, God's light floods and Shame flees.
     The only voice left is Truth. Life. It is the Breath of Creation and the greatest of Love. "You are my Beloved and I am your Redeemer. I transform hearts and breath new life. Get up and walk. Go...hold your head high. The joy of the Lord is your strength. You are chosen, called, adopted,  and perfectly made.   Go...and sin no more."