I read a recent post by Denise and it made me think. It was about evil and taking a stand against it and not being ashamed. Her and I must both be in the same funk. Ya know, the one I’ve been in since I quit working. It has given me lots of time to ponder many things in my life. There’s nowhere to hide anymore for me. My regrets, my heartache, my sin…..is ever before me….with no life-shattering emergency to push it back down to dark recesses of my heart. Where I have safely kept many issues through the years. They’re right beneath the surface now. And sometimes it’s hard to pretend they aren’t there. So I deal with them, slowly
and thoughtfully….and sometimes painfully. And grieve. And cry. And repent.
I do think about evil. But since I became Lutheran, I think about it in a totally different way. Some evils seem easier to pick out than others. Terrorism, starving people, satanism, child abuse, abortion…..those seem easy to call evil. We like things nicely divided in our minds. It makes it easy to toss them in the ‘evil’ basket……and to judge those who are propagating the ‘evil’. And God does hate evil. For sure. But can we always be sure where it lurks? Do we have the black line so definitely drawn around it that we miss some of the most vile and bitter evil of all? Paul said it this way, “Even when I would do good, I find an evil that is present in me”.    So do I…….I have become more aware of my own evil and sinfulness over the past two years than I’d care to share. And it makes me uncomfortable. If I am totally honest with myself and God, there is evil present in everything I do. I hope someone notices when I bake bread for my ailing neighbor….I relish in nice things people say about my home….I try to push down ill feelings that rise up in me about a friend…..I envy, I lie, I covet, I lust. Remember when Jesus said that if you have anger in your heart toward your neighbor, you are guilty of murder. When the definition is sin is extended to that degree, I have nowhere to hide. I am riddled with sin. Every moment. Every thought. Even my best moments and thoughts. And so are you, if you’re honest. My brokenness paralyzes me sometimes. So, how do I process the guilt and the grief that overtake me? I cry out. To God. Who said to me, “and you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled you in his body by His death, in order to present you blameless and irreproachable before Him…”. He has covered my evil….by His blood….a redemption and atonement of the most epic nature. But until the day that this mortal body is redeemed, I will live in a paradoxical tension….of both saint and sinner. Of having my sin forgiven under the blood and cross of Christ…..and then waking up another day to live in this blessed but debased human flesh. Which ‘only thinks of evil all the time”. So lately when I ponder evil, I don’t get much past my own depravity. And that….makes me evermore grateful that He has come to rescue me from myself…. from my sin. from my brokenness. I leave you with this song by Lifehouse called “Broken”. Sometimes a song can say it all.

Most merciful God, we confess that we are by nature sinful and unclean and have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart and we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We justly deserve your present and eternal punishment. For the sake of Your son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in Your will and walk in Your ways……Almighty God in His mercy has given His son to die for you and for His sake forgives you all your sins.”

13 comments on “The heart is deceitful above all things……..”

  1. Edie ~ This was such a powerful post! Can I just say, I hope without upsetting you, that you are being too hard on yourself. We are all sinners. If we weren’t, we wouldn’t need God and His amazing grace. I think you are SO beautiful, inside and out. And if it makes you feel good to hear that, then so be it! LOVE YOU! Ang

  2. this was very powerful. i understand completely where you are coming from. I’ve found myself in similar circumstance – I like to listen to “How Great Thou Art” when I get really down on myself about never fully living up. It helps me put my life in perspective – that it is a gift and that I should make the very most of it to glorify Him. You are a wonderful person. I really hope you know you set a wonderful example of the proof of God’s extraordinary love. God bless!

  3. Ang,
    I think it is precisely seeing ourselves as we really are that makes us fully aware of how much we need Him. Thankfully, He sees us through that imputed righteousness of Christ…..He sees perfection when He sees us because we are covered and hidden in Christ. Thank you so much for your kind words. I don’t think of it as being too hard on myself really…..just becoming more and more aware of just where I would be without His grace. Lighter posts soon, I promise!
    And Melissa, thank you for your kindness. And i love that song too!

  4. Hi Edie!

    I saw all the wonderful things you sent to Ang! Wow…she sure racked it in! I told her I’m so jealous! 🙂

    What a great post…really helps you keep things in the proper perspective. Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us. Hope you have a blessed day!

  5. I think I need a drink now…just kidding! This is a great post and very brave of you to open yourself up like that. Funny that the more I learn about you, the more I learn about myself…hope to see you tomorrow!

  6. Hugs to you! Thanks for the latest thought-provoking post. Of course, you know my mind is reeling. Love it! I have half a post ready with some more thoughts, but have to take a break. The crazies are heading to Dollywood in the rain. Catch up with you soon! 🙂 Denise

  7. Edie,

    I love how much you make me stop and think. I’m so grateful for such a loving Father in Heaven who knew just what we needed, and sent His Only Begotten Son to atone for our sins. Without that knowledge I’d be one lost soul. Thanks for another great, thought provoking post, it’s why I love blogging. Hope you’re having a good weekend.

  8. This was such a powerful and humbling post. Thanks for sharing so freely what is on your heart. You are a blessing to so many others. Your honesty is refreshing and I truly appreciate it. Thanks be to God that he is so good.

  9. Edie – I love it that you are so open and honest with us. I am so very thankful for God and his forgiveness. I love that song! Love you!

  10. Edie,
    I totally can identify what you are saying, I often think about myself in the same way. Even if it’s as silly as thinking about how my neighbor is mean to my kids and what I REALLY want to do to him. EVen though I know in my heart that I am supposed to love the sinner and hate the sin, it’s HARD. But that is why we have and need Jesus in our lives!
    Thanks for blogging about this, because it’s nice to know (I think, lol) that I’m not the only one that feels guilty like this, alot of the time. 🙂

  11. I know exactly what you mean. We live in a “now and not yet” place.
    It’s a challenge to think about CHRIST when I want to think about ME and my sin and how badly I feel about it all. But that is exactly what I’m learning to do: fix my eyes on Jesus.

    Easier said than done. 🙂

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