Are Words and Actions Enough?
By Ruthie Butz
For years I prayed that God would help me with my words and actions; that they would be what He would wish them to be. I knew that what God wanted for me, and others, would be for the best.
At some point I began to pray He would help me with my thinking and feeling. It was as if He said, "Ah, finally, at last."
I began to realize this was the whole point. I needed guidance and help deep inside, where I really lived. The words and actions would then be, though not perfect by a long shot, more apt to be pleasing to Him (and others for that matter).
Feelings of all kinds can wash over us willy-nilly, pushing us about in all directions. The results can be disappointing, embarrassing-- even disastrous. Even if no one around us guesses what we're feeling, we have choices about what to do with or how to direct those feelings. Usually, feelings (emotions) lead to thinking, whether logically and reasonably or to bouncing-off-the-wall-wild-mob-running loose "thoughts." Often thought is by-passed altogether. Then words and actions can do a lot of damage.
Having God's help with thoughts and feelings has given me greater access to His peace and wisdom. Do we sometimes think we’re hiding or saving something? Is stubborn independence, an I-can-do-it-myself attitude going to help us any? I don't know why we’d think that. I do know when I surrendered my fear, stubbornness, and self-will I began to be more what I wanted to be as well as, I think, what God wanted. A barrier to another dimension had been breached.
Perhaps this is what Paul meant by the "old man" needing to die. If we die in Christ, we will live and become a "new" person.*
This isn't just something God wants to arbitrarily do to us, but something even we, deep inside, want to become.
It is a process of yielding far more than striving--deep inside where we live, where God lives with us.
*2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:20-24
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