22 April 2012

Confessions from a Closet Hypocrite

I was convicted today about my attitude . . . which is really just a prideful way of saying 'about my ugly sinful heart.'

Today I was impatient and snappy with my Nigerien colleagues in the hospital.  I responded in anger when things didn't happen as quickly or efficiently as I had hoped.  My tone and words were anything but kind to my patients' families when they complained about the heat and long wait for dressing changes.

And I blamed them for my irritability.  I said that today I hated this culture.  And I wanted to leave.  And that my desire to throw my hands in the air and quit was their fault.  And I angrily judged my Christian Nigerien friends and hated the men of this culture for their pride and attitudes toward women . . . and . . . and it was all because I'm tired and cranky and hot and . . . .

NO IT WASN'T!

It was because I'm a hypocrite.


As we sat in church tonight (the one in English . . . with my fellow ex-pats) I felt like my insides were going to burst.  I struggled to pay attention (despite knowing I really needed to hear what was being said) because I knew what was inside was wrong.

I say that I love . . . but today, my actions did NOT show it.

As a disciple of Jesus I've been called to love.  To love my neighbor as myself.  To love 'one another'.  To love my enemies.  We've been told that the world will know . . . sans question . . . that we are His disciples by the way we love.

But today, I failed the test.  If anyone had looked at me today they would have said 'There's no Jesus in that chick.  She loves like the world . . . only when it benefits her.'

And when is that okay?  NEVER.

There is no clause in the Discipleship Code that says 'Hey girl, don't worry, somedays you're going to be tired and cranky and hot, but you get a day off each week.  You can be mean and nasty and hateful in your heart because, after all, you're only human!  So give yourself a break and let sin reign . . . the Holy Spirit understands when you put yourself back on the throne!  Besides, you moved to Africa, for goodness sakes!  What more could He want out of you!!'

The gross reality is that's what I've been telling myself!  'It's okay . . . you're just hot and tired.  You'll love again tomorrow!'  BUT I KNOW THAT'S NOT TRUE!  If left up to myself, I'm going to just keep on stewing and brewing in hypocrisy . . . pretending that my actions of mercy substitute for a disgruntled, unkind, impatient heart.

No.  Christ gave His life so that I would be made new.  That I would be transformed from something rotting in death to blossoming in life.  But my attitude today is not that of a soul redeemed.
Dear Jesus, please . . . PLEASE forgive me!  And please . . . PLEASE help me to love without reserve or condition or fatigue.  Please replace my anger with patience and my judgement with mercy.  Please transform me!!  Because I can't do it.  You have to!

13 comments:

Kerichojoy said...

Amen!

May we all examine what is in our closets.

Anne Dye said...

May He answer that prayer in my life as well as yours! Your transparency encouraged me tonight, so thank you.

Bob Hay said...

Thank you for your openness, honesty, and transparency! I value that... A LOT!!  Praying for you, dear sister!!!

BP said...

OK . . . Who gave you permission to peek at my heart, Deb??!!  Stop posting about me!

Linda Watt said...

Sept 5, 1985 I prayed a similar prayer. I too was a hypocrite-far worse--I wasn't able to live the Christian life.  I kept screwing up.  I prayed that prayer and told the Lord the same as you Deb, "I can't do this.  You have to do it."  I keep screwing up, but he lets me start again.  Of course I have to go back and ask forgiveness for the screwups, when my anger gets the best of me, or my mouth gets me in trouble.  But I'm no longer a hypocrite! I am transparent with people and hopefully they will extend grace to me.  

Me said...

Your honesty convicts my selfish heart.... No more excuses, labeling things to make them what they are not, or justifying my sin because, after all, I'm better than the average guy, right? Praise God for his Holy Spirit to convict us and for his perfect grace and love that covers all our sin!

Sheryl said...

Lovely, honest, convicting post, Deb.   Thank you and God bless you.

Philip Carhart III said...

Deb, your conviction about the status of your heart convicted me as well.  I had a day this week where the patients and my colleagues  had me to the point of fury at the end of my shift.  I wine, I complain, I get irritable, I feel entitled, and I certainly don't care.  You're so right that we cannot blame them, all of our circumstances, the stresses of the job, for a poor, ungodly attitude and a sinful heart.  Thank you for your honesty and helping me realize that my impatience and anger is a sign of the condition of my heart, NOT my circumstances.  I've noticed that the more leeway I give my sinful heart the more it takes, to the point where my attitude is characterized by sin all the time, not just on occasion.  And you're so right, we can't change that spirit within ourselves.  God bless you for your transparency Deb.

Mamastouff said...

Right there with you, God loves a broken heart and a humble spirit...

Bethany Reamer said...

joining you right there in your prayer, sister.  grateful for your humility and your honesty.  your story encourages mine.  how many times have i told you that! =)  much love.

Deb. said...

Oh good!  Cause sometimes I think: 'I hope no one in the home office is reading this, or they're going to fire me!'

Deb. said...

I am SO thankful for being able to start again!  And re-start again . . . re-start-again, again!!

Deb. said...

Isn't that true!1  The more we give in to sin, the more it takes over!