It’s been a lazy summer. Delightful, easy, carefree and…I don’t want it to end!
With a light schedule and easy days, there has been less temptation toward frustration in the home. I guess that is why I wasn’t prepared for it.
I became frustrated and angered very quickly at a situation with the kids at home yesterday. Afterward, I wondered aloud to God how it happened. How had I gotten so angry so quickly? I had gone upstairs and laid across my bed like a little girl who had gone to her room after getting in trouble. I was humbled. I felt ashamed. After five minutes of pouting and putting off the asking of forgiveness, I turned, once again, toward Graceland. I turned toward the truths about who Jesus is and who I am in Him.
Most likely, if you’re in a season of mothering or fathering, you too struggle with being frustrated and angered in the home. Oh yes…and outside the home. Children have a way of humbling us outside the home too don’t they?
I’m tempted to speak harshly and to roll my eyes or walk off haughtily. I’m tempted to blame the kids or circumstances for my frustration. Sometimes in life circumstances outside of the home, I’m tempted to give someone the silent treatment. I’m tempted not to love someone. I’m tempted to gossip when I’m upset. I’m tempted to think badly of another person or to assume the worst of another.
Sadly, I admit that I have even given in to those temptations at some point in my life. I don’t always give in to temptation, but thoughts and impulses toward responding in anger comes to some degree or form daily. And it’s OK to admit that to you because I’m pretty sure you probably struggle with that too.
I used to think that I was the only one. Over the years though, I’ve come to develop wonderful close fellowship with other Christians. I’ve found that they struggle with the very same things I do as often as I do. I found that they are tempted in the same ways as I am daily and weekly.
We are tempted in so many other areas too, aren’t we? There is lust, pride, greed, selfishness, etc.
And we all need the same thing. A new perspective.
Praise God there is a perspective…perhaps the greatest…available to us to overcome temptations.
It’s not something we have to DO…it’s just something we need to remember. Perhaps the only thing we have to DO, is take time to remember, ponder and meditate on it.
Theologian John Owen said that the greatest perspective available to us against the power of temptation in the world is,
“We need to keep our heart full of a sense of the love of God. This is the greatest perspective available to us against the power of temptation in the world…Fill your heart with a sense of the love of God in Christ, and apply the eternal design of grace and shed blood to yourselves. Accept all the privileges of adoption, justification, and acceptance with God.”
Sometimes I like to get my hands on a book about parenting or marriage or ministry and try to make a list of all that I need to do. That isn’t necessarily bad, but I do believe that my first go-to should be the above. The above entails thinking upon all of the below:
Apply the eternal design of grace and shed blood to yourself. Apply the gospel. Preach the gospel. Remember the gospel. Turn to Jesus.
Accept that, if you are in Christ, you have all of the privileges of a son or daughter of the King of Creation. You can approach the throne of God boldly and ask for all things boldly.
Accept that you stand before this King and Father fully accepted and loved. In fact, the Father loves you to the same degree that He loves His son. In John 17:23, Jesus prays that we might recognize that the Father has loved those who belong to Him to what degree?
“I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.”
The Father loves you even as, to the same degree as He loves Jesus.
Accept that your sin has been put on Christ, your elder brother. And you have been given all that is His. Martin Luther called it “the Great Transfer”…
Christ not only died the death we deserved to die He also lived the life we should have lived. Christ’s work for us is finished in that it is complete—we can add nothing to it to achieve or attract the Father’s blessing. . . This means that what Christ possesses belongs to the believing soul, and what the soul possesses belongs to Christ. Thus Christ possesses all good things and holiness; these now belong to the soul.
And Jesus was given all that was ours.
“And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.” –Colossians 2:13-15
Do you have something that you’re tempted toward each day? How does the love given to you in Christ change how you feel about it?
Francis Schaeffer wrote this about what the Bible says about the meaning of the finished work of Christ for our present lives:
“It is the infinite value of the finished work of Christ upon the cross plus nothing, that is the sole basis for the removal of our guilt and bestowal of the same level of worthiness as is possessed by Christ.”
It is these truths that feed my soul…a new creation in Christ. These thoughts build up the bridge that takes me from wasteland thinking to beautiful graceland thinking. It is this that continues to press into my heart, mind and flesh a desire to love Christ and others more and more as a response to His goodness to me. I pray that it does the same for you, dear reader. I appreciate you and what Christ is doing in you!
Linking up with these lovely ladies and their blogs this week: