As I was composing my previous post, I came to a disappointing realization about myself. Even with all of my “preaching” on the topic of avoiding troubled men, guess what I did this very evening?!
That’s right. I went straight on down to the check out a new puppy. This is one that I’ve actually known for a few years. I’d rarely seen him sober until recently. And even when he was, he barely spoke two words to me at a time. And those words were coaxed out by me. I was never interested in him. In fact, I kind of had a lot of disdain for him.
Anyway, he was at the same event that I was at this evening. He spoke more words to me – and more kindly – than he has in the whole time I’ve known him. It was basically small talk about his job, going back to school, things like that.
Because he was being personable, I ventured to ask him whether he still smokes. He said he doesn’t. Okay, then…let’s take this a step further. I asked whether he still drinks. Also, stopped. Why? Because God doesn’t approve. He said he’d stopped both five months ago. He pointed out that he’d lost weight, as a result. True enough. He had. And I do hope that he was being honest with me about the reason.
So, assuming that he was telling me the truth, he has been making efforts to be obedient to the Lord and seek healing. That’s good. Still, that doesn’t mean that I need to be all open-hearted-y and stuff toward him, does it?!
Of course it doesn’t!!!
Does that stop my heart from being opened-y?
Of course it doesn’t!!!
My heart is on its own schedule. Occasionally, it checks in with me to make sure that I’m still there, but then it goes off and does its own will. (I should start calling my heart “Old Testament Israel.”)
It is incomprehensible to me that I could be writing warnings against something, and at the same time be feeling the very things I’m warning against.
So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:21-25
I am pleased to see the change in this man. Truly, I hope and pray that he was being honest with me. For his own sake. However, I know my heart. I have little control over my heart, but I know it. It’s doing that thing. You know, that thing. It’s that thing that’s telling me that I need to keep a safe distance from this guy until I know I can handle it.
Believe it or not, there are plenty of guys with whom I can relate without “that thing.” However, when I recognize it, I know it’s time to take shelter.
Easier said than done. Easier said than done, my friends.
I think what got me going tonight was that this is the first time I saw him as a person with an actual heart. As I said, he never really talked to me before – and certainly not politely. So, that was the entry point for me. That was the point of “now I know you have a heart, let me know all about it!” Fortunately, I maintained a semblance of self-control as far as trying to steer the conversation and ask him a ton of questions about where he is now, spiritually speaking. No matter what the situation, with males or females, I tend to steamroll people who express to me the very slightest bit of interest in the things of God. I did ask him a couple of questions, but I don’t think I went too far, nor did I become too preachy. (that’s a bad habit of mine.)
So, back to the point: as aware as I am, I see how I can still be taken down fairly easily. Maybe that’s why the Lord chose this very evening for me to finally write that last post. He wanted me to see my conversation with this guy under the glaring light of what I already know to be true.