I need to write about my struggle with sin because, I tend to write things that are very hard for us to digest, and I don't want people to think that I am some kind of saint sitting on a cloud looking down on everyone because they are sinning! Nothing could be further than the truth!
The Bible says that we are to look at our own sins before we address the sins of others. See Matthew 7 for this. We can address the sins of others, but we must do heart work on ourselves first.
Ever since I was small, I had a problem with anger. When I didn't get what I wanted, I threw temper tantrums. One time, my mother said I held my breath, and turned blue, because I was angry about something (I was around 1 1/2). When I was 4 or 5, I would be so angry at my mom because she wouldn't take me to the amusement park or wherever I wanted to go.
I remember one time, my little brother was invited to eat dinner with some little boys at their house. I was so angry about that. I was angry at the little girl across the street, because she preferred playing with my little brother instead of me! One time, she hurt herself on our swing set. I thought to myself, 'Good. She deserves that'.
My anger continued and when I got angry, my blood pressure soared. My face turned beet red. Where would I get help?
One time, I wondered who could deliver me from my anger? But as I got older, the anger took different forms, and I didn't see my anger problem anymore. That is, until I got married and had children!
The anger came back when something challenging happened with my first daughter. I don't even remember what it was, but I took a brush and threw it across the room. It broke. That was just the beginning of things to come.
When I had two children, the anger flared up again, only this time, many more episodes of anger occurred. I found myself throwing things again, and breaking items. I could have hurt my children, but God was merciful and protected them from my anger. I began to be afraid of myself. It seemed like anger was bigger than I was. I couldn't control it. Again, I was wondering, 'Who can deliver me?'
I would listed to our wonderful Bible teachers and pastors in the 80s and 90s. They would teach us on idolatry and worship. We all worship something. I would argue with them in my mind. They would talk about the power of sin, and I, for the life of me, couldn't see my sin. I trusted in Jesus Christ and thought that my life was totally sin free now. My sins were forgiven, but I didn't understand the power of sin still in my life.
The root of my sin (anger) was idol worship. You are probably thinking, 'Yeah right. We really have totem poles and statues out there to bow down to.' Worship is an issue of the heart. The second commandment says to not make a graven image of God. We are not do design a 'god' that we want to believe in. God already tells us who He is in His word. I was worshiping a 'god' of my own desires. You see, I believed that the death of Jesus Christ reversed the curse of Adam on the earth. I thought that my labor would be painless. God forbid if I would have had to have a C-section. I believed my children would be in perfect health. We would never have to go to doctors because of sickness. I would nurse my babies perfectly and they would be plump and healthy. I really believed Deuteronomy 28 applied to me today, and had those expectations for my life.
Deuteronomy 28 tells the story of the Israelites, as they were going through the wilderness, and getting ready to establish their own country. During their adventure in the wilderness, God would provide for them whatever they needed. For example, there were no shoemakers available in the desert. God told the Israelites that He would make sure their shoes didn't wear out. There were no hospitals, and maybe no midwives? Women would deliver healthy babies in the desert. If, the Israelites obeyed God, God would take care of everything they needed, because it was necessary for them to reach the Promised Land. That is how God would carry out His plan for redeeming mankind. God saw to it, that every detail was worked out for them. However, they were not removed from the curse that God placed on the earth, when Adam sinned. God's plan was progressive, not instant.
I totally misunderstood that, and I believed that if my relationship with God was right, then I would experience God fixing everything wrong in my life. But that didn't happen. Now I know why, but I didn't then, and I was angry.
By the time I had my third child, I knew that my anger had to be dealt with. I could no longer get away with being violent. I could have hurt my children and God was going to hold me accountable. I wanted to represent God in truth. By living in anger, I was dishonoring God. I was making God look like something He wasn't. But I felt so trapped. I couldn't not be angry. Who would deliver me from this anger?
Now that my belief system is in line with the word of God, I understand why difficulties come my way. It is not God punishing me, or showing His displeasure with me. God's word guarantees hardships will come our way. It is kind of like a jigsaw puzzle we have to put together. Most of us do not want to take the time to put something like that together, but when it is finished, a beautiful picture is depicted. God gives us difficulties each day, for us to work through, which will bring us to the place where we trust God more, and we will become more like Christ.
I am grateful for my pastors, and many good Bible teachers whom I have listened to on tape. I have learned to look at my own heart and not be afraid of my sin, because there is hope. Now that I know the root of why I was angry, I don't have to deny my anger or pretend it doesn't exist.
You may be struggling with anger. Or you may be struggling with something else altogether. The devil loves keeping us in bondage with lies. The devil wants us to live in guilt and shame. We fall into sin, then we try to get out, only to slide back in again. Then the devil rubs it in. We feel like trash. But, we don't have to!
God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, the Messiah, to die for your sins and mine. But not only that. He died so we don't have to be slaves to sin anymore. We don't have to worship false gods. As we learn who God is, from the Bible, we will learn to trust Him more. The lies will fall off, if we don't hold on to them.
For more on the Gospel, go to: http://thegospelconversation.blogspot.com