Five Minute Friday: Discover

Along the Way @ mlsgregg.com (2)

Gentle Reader,

Chop the zucchini. Beat the egg. Sift the flour.

Form into patties. Hands drip with moisture and yolk.

Ssssssssssssssss. Hot olive oil and even hotter skillet. Crackling, bubbling.

Sounds and scents all humans recognize.

Kate says: discover.

Go.

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

– James 3:13-18 (NKJV)

Sometimes, probably more often than not, we don’t know what’s in our own hearts. The bitter envy, in our eyes, is nothing more than wanting “better” for ourselves. The self-seeking is just “not understanding” why someone else got that job or that thing. We’re so good at rationalizing and justifying and explaining.

We’re so self-deceptive. In fact, we’re masters at it.

Because we deserve what others have. It’s not right or fair that they have it and we don’t.

But the Holy Spirit, He just doesn’t let us get away unconfronted. He pokes and prods and shines His brilliant flashlight into the dark corners. He consistently, unendingly points out the things that don’t please Him, don’t honor Him.

And then we discover the things we rather wouldn’t. That the envy chokes relationships. That the self-seeking is really self-destruction, no matter how successful we might look outwardly. That the self-destruction reaches out and destroys others, even the others that we don’t envy.

It’s all very ugly and painful.

We can choose to sit there in the stink and throw a fit. We can turn away from the evidence that’s plain as day. We can, in essence, tell God that’s He’s stupid.

Or we can ask Him to scrub us clean. We can ask Him to give us new hearts. We can ask Him to give us the kind of wisdom that is always loving, always peace-making, always life-giving. We can swallow our pride, eat the humble pie and do whatever needs to be done to make things right.

Justification happens in a moment. Sanctification takes a lifetime. It’s a journey of discovery, of learning that we really are what Scripture says we are – sinners in possession of corrupt hearts that we can never understand on our own. But it’s also learning that God really is who Scripture says He is. Infinitely patient, completely kind, always doing what is best for us, His children.

In knowing who we are and who God is – there’s freedom. Because we don’t have to make ourselves great anymore. We don’t have to step on others. We don’t have to worry about reputation and success and followers and fame. We can settle into the arms of the One whose Name will last forever, long after ours has faded into dust. We can melt into Him, become consumed by Him, live to glorify Him.

And there we’ll discover all we truly want.

Stop.

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13 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Discover

  1. Ah, what beautiful words, my friend. Thank you for the reminder that I really am a master at rationalization (and that’s not a good thing). I can decieve myself for a time, but I can never decieve God. I’m a work in progress–my prayer is that my progress is always growing more and more like my Father!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful post, Marie. For what it’s worth, I sometimes get into trouble for NOT wanting what others have; I don’t resent my illness, nor the lack of access to medical care, because I’ve seen parts of the world where it would be the norm, and pain is often the currency of life.

    Drive B crazy, both my attitude and the fact that the richest country in the world can let someone slip through the cracks while giving tax breaks to athletic teams and pharmaceutical companies.

    #1 at FMF this week.

    https://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/10/your-dying-spouse-388-caregiver-so-far.html

    Like

    1. I’m with B. Your illness may be outside the realm of human control, but it’s unconscionable that you haven’t been cared for properly (not by her, of course).

      Your continued thankfulness and ability to see the good in the midst of such suffering – you are one of my heroes in the faith, Andrew. You really are.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it is, Ali! Now we just have to learn to surrender immediately instead of fighting Him. Thankfully, blessedly, He is infinitely patient. Thanks for commenting!

      Like

  3. Great post, Marie! I agree, it can be really easy to deceive ourselves about our motives at times. It’s important to be open to God’s leading and let him shine his light into those dark corners.

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    1. I used to not understand how God could say that I’m incapable of knowing my own heart. But over the last couple of years, as I’ve watched the world do its crazy thing, it became clear to me that a loss of self-awareness was part of the Curse. Part of the sanctification process, I believe, is God restoring our ability to understand who we are and how desperately we need His guidance.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You nailed it! Yeah, you nailed my heart, so deceitful at times. Create in me a clean heart o my God. Place my clay form on your Potter’s wheel and shape me after Yourself.
    Thank you Marie for wisdom in your view of discovery.💔

    Like

  5. Marie, so many beautiful truths here. I confess, I’ve been the one jealous over what someone else had that I desperately wanted. Until we come to terms with the fact that God knows it may not be for our best or in HIs plan to give us that thing, we’re going to hold onto envy. For me, that wanting a baby became an idol. And my heart wasn’t a pretty place.
    what you said here: Justification happens in a moment. Sanctification takes a lifetime. It’s so true. Ultimately, we must come to terms with the fact that God is God and we are not. Until we do, envy and bitterness will eat us alive.
    Great post my friend!

    Like

    1. “God is God and we are not.”

      You’d think that, despite our limited human brains, this would be at least one concept that we could all firmly grasp. Oh, little tyrants we are, wanting to rule ourselves and others!

      Liked by 1 person

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