with Jan Allbritton
Let’s say that you have two identical puppies. You feed one only a tiny little bit, and you feed the other one a good amount. Which one grows faster? The one that you feed the most, of course.
You and I know that this is true, but yet we don’t always apply that to our spiritual lives. In each and every one of us there is a battle of good and evil. The way that the winner is determined is by the one that we feed the most. How do we feed them? Well, by what we put into our body and soul and our spirit.
If I allow hatred or unforgiveness or any negative emotion to permeate my soul, it will affect everything because my soul is my mind, my will, and my emotions. If I allow these to run amuck, I am a mess.
You see, I am only human. Every human has weaknesses and is flawed.My weakness may not be your weakness, but your weakness may not be my weakness. I don’t have a problem with chasing women or drinking or cussing, but I might have a problem with eating too much or worrying or being fearful.
As Pastor Andy said, if we are left to our own devices, we will self-destruct. It is in our basic nature to think me, me, me, and that it is all about me.
FYI – It is not all about me. I have to bow daily to the King of my life. I have to die to self daily.
King David is one of my absolute favorite people in the Bible. He was a worshiper for he loved God, he was a warrior and won many battles, he was a leader, and he was a king. In spite of being all of these good things, King David messed up big time.
He didn’t go out to war with his troops as he should have and stayed at home. He went out one night and saw a woman bathing on her rooftop.
He thought that she was beautiful and wanted to know who she was. His servants told him that she was married, but King David did not care.
He sent for her, slept with her, and got her pregnant. As if that wasn’t enough, David sent for her husband and tried to get him to go home to his wife so that he would think the baby was his. When the husband would not go home due to his loyalty to his comrades, King David had the husband sent to the front of the battle and killed.
This amazing man of God had let lying, adultery, and murder slip into his life. He committed one sin after another trying to cover up his first sin. If this amazing man of God who had a heart after God’s own heart could mess up, do you think that we could mess up?
We are all vulnerable and not perfect. We must depend on God, and we need God. We cannot make it without Him. WE must be willing to humble ourselves before God and let Him lead our lives. If we want to walk in the Spirit, we have got to follow God.
In 1 Peter 5:6, it says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him for He cares for you.” In Matthew 11:29, Jesus tells us to take His yoke upon us for His yoke is easy and His burden is light. To me that means that I am yoked with Jesus and where He walks, I walk. If I am yoked with Him, I will not have an easy time trying to move away from Him. His yoke will keep me on the right path. By yoke, I mean connected to Jesus. I have to be so connected to Him that I will not stray from where He wants me to be.
I have to daily make sure that my connection is a close one. I have to be willing to die to my own desires, and ask Him to resurrect Himself in me.In other words, when I want to gripe and complain about stuff, I have to give that to Him. I have to temper my words. I have to make sure that what I am saying is uplifting to others. When I want to gossip, I am to shut my mouth. When I want to be ugly to someone, I am to show kindness.
I am to be the hands, feet, and mouth of Christ to those around me. I am to put their feelings ahead of mine. I am to be humble and have a servant’s heart.
Now, let’s get real. I cannot do all of this stuff unless Jesus is controlling me because I get tired and crabby just like everyone else.
However, when I get that way, I have to ask God to change my attitude because I am to be His witness. I am to be His witness out in the world and in my own home to those that I love.
Jan Allbritton is a Diboll resident who teaches at St. Cyprian’s Episcopal School.