Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Gnawing Witness?

When I was a child, I remember having this gnawing emotional indigestion telling me I should be good. I managed to ignore it or drown it out with the darker voice telling me "Do what feels good now!" Fortunately, it was a persistent gnawing, even when I challenged it with teenage rationalizing and young adult logic. Even when others were impressed with my "goodness" and helped me feel better about ignoring the gnawing, I was comfortable with the knowledge that I was "gooder" than most - after all, I was a minister, a presenter of the Truth, and a living example of what they should all hope to become (yes, again that is sarcasm). No, I wasn't a blatant sinner, a social bad guy, or even any different than anyone else struggling with evil, and I knew I had to depend on God's grace rather than see the day of perfection arrive. But the gnawing continued. There were things, mostly of the heart and mind, that robbed me of the complete peace a true relationship with God supposedly brings. Who knows when you're struggling with things like pride, selfishness, lust, and prayerlessness? God. He's pretty persistent, and - I guess, a pretty good "gnawer".
It's been a lot of years ago, but I remember when things changed - the gnawing went away - and that peace finally came. It happened when personal character became more important than personal comfort, and personal integrity became more important than popular acceptance. It happened when secret sins stopped being secret to God, which they never where, and Christ-like consistency replaced church-like correctness. Most of all, the gnawing of God went away when the presence of God was embraced.
At some point in every one's life, personal character, integrity, and consistency must to become a higher priority than all the distractions of life, the world, and Satan. Solomon learned and spoke of that around three thousand years ago. It has to be the best "wrap-up" of all time. He said, "Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil." (Eccl.12:13-14)
We have a purpose, and we will have accountability. That's enough to gnaw at any body, but this is a gnawing that Tums can't help. The only way to stop it is to pay attention to it. It's a character issue.


Deborah said...

This is awesome! I cannot wait to e-mail this to several people. I love it when I read something that is going right along with what I'm studying--especially when it comes from someone I respect so much!!

Love you, Dad. It was so good to talk to you this afternoon--means more than you'll ever know!

Glenave Curtis said...

Have you ever thought you didn't deserve to recognize that you have grown? That might mean we are arrogant! He has told us to grow in love, faith, grace, knowledge, etc. so it makes sense that we do a check-up on ourselves and know that we have grown and give Him the glory and the praise.