Girl, That’s Sin

I got a ticket recently, my first in nearly 40 years. I never even noticed that stop sign and blew right through it. My stomach still turns when I think about it.

I immediately started beating up on myself.

Hard

Yes, everyone makes mistakes and accidents happen. Yes, pretty much every adult driver out there gets a ticket at least once every twenty years or so.

Not. Me.

I hold myself to a higher standard than that. I’m a good driver, a careful driver, and getting that ticket, even being pulled over, sent me over the edge into flaming self-hatred.

I’m not even kidding here. I tend to expect a lot out of myself in most things, and if I blow it in pretty much any area I’m going to hate on myself worse than anyone else will ever hate on me.

I asked God’s forgiveness right away, but I absolutely, infuriatingly, could not forgive myself. I continued the self-abuse until I had a Come-to-Jesus meeting with God. The brief conversation went something like this.

God: What would I tell you if you were beating up on someone else the way you’re beating up on yourself?

Me: Tammy, that’s sin.

God: Tammy, the rules don’t change just because it’s you. Girl, that’s sin.

He’s told me this before, in various ways, but this time it hit almost like a glass of cold water in the face. Refusing to forgive myself is as wrong as refusing to forgive anyone else, and every bit as destructive.

It wasn’t easy to do. It took work on my part, but I stepped up and did it. I still hate the fact that I blew it, but at least that gut-churning self-hatred is gone.

We cannot afford to walk around in unforgiveness, my friends – towards anyone.

Celebrating Jesus!

Tammy C

Hallowed be Thy Name

When you put a bumper sticker on your car, people associate you with whatever that bumper sticker represents. Did you cut them off in traffic? They’re probably disparaging your preferred university. Even worse if you’re a Christian, when they see you behaving badly while driving a car that labels you as a Christian or a member of a certain church, they are quite possibly using your behavior as an excuse to judge God and your church.

You think I’m kidding? I know someone who will not put one of her church’s bumper stickers on her car because she’s heard, too many times, “Those ______ drivers are some of the worst on the road!” She doesn’t want to risk her driving reflecting badly on her church, so she won’t advertise where she goes.

I think of this sort of thing often as I pray the Lord’s Prayer. I wear the label “Christian” and, whether or not anyone around me sees that label (And they do!), I know there is a multitude of other witnesses both angelic and demonic that do. Even more so, God does. God’s name is holy, and my desire is to always, even in the privacy of my own thoughts, reflect His holiness, not giving the devil or man any reason at all to judge God poorly based on ME.

As I pray “hallowed be Thy name,” I renew my commitment to keep His name holy, to do nothing to sully or stain it. I remind myself that every little thing I do and don’t do DOES matter, and that even a moment of giving in to the flesh can have a terribly negative impact on people around me, putting a wedge between them and my God and, yes, between them and my church if they know where I go. What if my church is the one God has been calling them to and my actions make them turn away? God has said in His Word that He holds me accountable for such things!

I’m human, and I fight my battles with flesh in all its forms just like every other human does. I fail Him and the people around me all too often, but when I realize I have I hit my knees, repent, and get back up even more determined to get it right the next time.

I do it because His name is holy and I am well aware that I have a responsibility, that my part as a Christian is to always do my best to respect His holiness.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C