Thursday, March 1

Rotten to the core

Up until I was 22, I don't recall having ever truly hated anyone or being very angry. I was fairly calm, easy-going, got along with everyone, a peace-maker.

But one Sunday night, I was at a friend's house for Bible Study and couldn't focus on the lesson. I began to question myself: "what is my problem here? why can't I focus? what is this feeling in me?" Upon asking the last question, I realized that anger seared through me, quickly and heatedly, causing me to want to yell and hate someone, for the first time ever. I left that study as quickly as I could, once it ended, and sought counsel and prayer from a friend that night. But I haven't been the same since.

In the 10 years since then, I have struggled a handful of times with certain people...finding my personality clashing with a few, finding myself want to curse and tear down others, and wondering how to change. Was the girl, prior to age 22, a realistic me? Or is the girl in the last decade the real picture of me? I wonder if the pre-22 me was someone who still had "faith like a child," whereas the post-22 me is more jaded and more worldly. I'm not sure which is an accurate or fair description. But I do know that I'm still struggling with certain people and ultimately, struggling with myself.

I met Person a handful of years ago. I learned fairly early on that Person was not going to be an easy person to interact with. But I was more gracious in those early years than I am now. Where Person demonstrated negativity, selfishness, and even rudeness, I would calmly smile, sympathically listen, and try to offer a positive light on the situation. But as the years have clicked by, the less gracious I have become with Person. Now instead of being calm and positive, I just try to remain silent so as to not lash out with a restless and poisonous tongue.

I HATE this side of me. I hate that I am weak. I hate that I would wish bad on someone.
I hate that instead striving to be an example of Christ and godliness, I find myself striving to just stay silent so not to reveal the extent of my ungodliness.

I am convinced, more than ever, that I am rotten to the core.
I memorized Jeremiah 17:9 as a young child ("The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.") and finally understand its truth.

But despite all this, the post-22 me has experienced God in an immense way that I don't recall in my pre-22 years.
I have learned greatly of what it means that God redeems us.
I have learned what it means that God refines us by fire
And that He is the Master Potter.
That He wants to take that rotted core in me and turn it into something holy.
That where I see hopeless evil in me, He sees a person worth purifying.

And I am humbly grateful.

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