Saturday, March 21, 2009

My Own Self Righteousness


I was listening to James MacDonald speaking on repentance the other day, and he spoke some very profound words. He always has a way of using God's word to really convict me.

I only have one sibling, my sister. Now my sister loves the Lord, but like all of us, she has issues. We have issues with our relationship. Without going into all the dirty details, I will tell you that she and I went 5 years without speaking or seeing each other and we live less than 30 minutes from each other.

Pastor MacDonald has a series available from his website titled, "Balcony People" which is on the book of Philemon. When I first heard this series, my sister and I were estranged for just a few months I think. Anyway, the series really convicted me concerning the relationship that my sister had with my mother. The incident that caused this estrangement involved my mom and some other members of my family, not me. Go figure. I felt that I should attempt to mediate between my mom and my sister as we are instructed to do in the Word. Since I do better with writing letters than trying to speak to a very angry person, that is what I chose to do. I started writing my sister letters encouraging her to face the truth of the situation and to repent so her relationship with God and our mom could be restored. I wrote her 5 letters before she sent them all back to me with a letter of her own. I won't go into all the details they are still very painful for me. Suffice it to say, she stated she did not want anymore communication from me and that I needed to apply the letters to my own life.

What my sister could not have realized is that by writing her these letters, God was showing me how I needed to apply them to myself. This was the turning point for me and my relationship with God. I am the returning prodigal.

In Isaiah 1, God is using some very strong words towards the Israelites. Pastor MacDonald used this chapter to show that if we have angry, unrepentant self righteous sin in our hearts, God does not hear us. We have to repent of this sin that God has convicted us of first. That is when I realized how self righteous I have been feeling towards my sister. I have been angry with her because she doesn't get it. God has shown me how often I didn't and still don't get it. When I think of how often my sister prayed for me, I feel total shame at these feelings I have had towards her.

I have often felt like she is acting this way because she wants to be the victim. I now realize that it doesn't matter what I think about how she is acting. What matters is how I treat her. What matters is what God thinks about how she is acting. If I continue to treat her with nonchalance, then how am I reflecting the love and concern that Christ has for her? This has been a very difficult journey for me. I know that it is far from over, but I feel like I have reached an important milestone in my relationship with my sister. I look forward to the day when she gets it too and we can be sisters again.

1 Comment:

  1. Christy said...
    Great testiment

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