Friday, February 25, 2011

What Are Your Intentions?

The Room of Good Intentions

This is going to be the time it is different. I am going to do better, be stronger, work harder and then I will have that closeness with God. If I can just work on my sin and stop doing the same things over and over again then I God will be pleased and the blessings will flow. How many times have you done or said these same things? For me it is an all too familiar tune that keeps replaying in my head. I think that if I can just be better or do things in a way that is acceptable to others then I will be liked and ultimately loved. Performance based conditional acceptance is the trap that I put myself in time and time again. Does this make sense? Does it strike a chord in your heart? Is this the way that God works?

I thought that God worked this way and I had to please Him, if I didn’t then he would punish with disapproval and bad circumstances. So in order to fight this I would put on a mask to everyone. The mask was by creating this person that I thought everyone wanted to see or the person that would be accepted. This guy was great……He always said “YES” so he would not disappoint others. He tried his best to excel in sports, school and career. Failure was not an option. Failure happened but I was good at hiding it so no one could tell. Minimize the damage to the mask.

Of course we all make mistakes, we are human and flawed. I struggled and fought to accept this though. I worked extra hard to not make mistakes. Perfectionism became my god. When I unconsciously chose this life, I heaped a pile of trouble into my lap. By hiding my mistakes meant hiding my sins as well. By doing this I was creating a breeding ground for more sin because sin needs darkness and seclusion to grow. Only when it is exposed to the light will sin slow and dissipate. My mask became bigger and greater as the years progressed. The funny thing is that my mask was created so I would feel the love and acceptance of others. Why did I still feel so empty and tired all the time. I was doing all it took to be loved in public and secretly trying to fill that void in private with an addiction to pornography and lust. It only created momentary satisfaction and then deep despair and depression. I had the intentions to be all that God would be pleased with, but was failing miserably. I had two lives and my mask had to become bigger so I could get more love and flee from the darkness I felt inside. It was ripping me apart! If people knew what I was really like then my world would come crashing down. My acceptance by others would be turned into disapproval and condemnation. If they knew what my daily thoughts were my mask would be crushed.

The scary part was the internal struggle of who I was? Was I this evil person riddled with sin and no way out or was I the man that I thought God wanted me to be? I could feel his presence and at times saying lay down the mask and trust me. The problem was the mask was too big and fastened too tight. It was the only true security that I could tangibly hold. How could I let anybody in? They would surely see me as the evil one that I felt inside. I knew that they approved of the person that they saw on the outside. So I just thought I needed to try harder and be better. My intentions were good. I thought I would be fine.

Does this description of who I was stir up any similarities in your own life? This was who I was a few years ago. Do I still have these thoughts? Yes, at times they creep back into my mind and heart when I allow them. How did I stomp out these lies? I came to conclusion that I could not, it was only by God’s power that my heart and mind was changed. That is when I walked out of the room of good intentions and into the room of GRACE. The room that I am learning to live in each day.....the key word is" learning".

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