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Posted: 2/28/2006 9:33:03 PM EDT
I know the rules and the doctrine. My question is how do you put it into practice in your daily life? It is a constant struggle for me and sometimes I feel like it goes against everything in my nature. My big problems are that I'm not very forgiving or compassionate, I use so much profanity that the paint blisters on the walls, and I tend to be judgemental, suspicious, and easily angered.

The profanity I've managed to get under control for the most part. The others are not so easy. Any advice? I pray on it, but so far it looks like it is up to me to get past these character flaws.
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 10:18:33 PM EDT
I'm confused... Wouldn't it be a bit easier to simply accept that you are a good person rather than try to fit yourself into the Christian ideal of "Good" ?

Link Posted: 2/28/2006 10:49:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GodNoStar:
I'm confused... Wouldn't it be a bit easier to simply accept that you are a good person rather than try to fit yourself into the Christian ideal of "Good" ?




Well, the Christian ideal as set by Christ is the ideal to live up to. It is what I aim at, even if I'll never reach it. Currently, you'd have to use a very loose interpretation of the word 'good' for it to be descriptive of me.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 7:49:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Big_Louie:
. . . The profanity I've managed to get under control for the most part. The others are not so easy. Any advice? I pray on it, but so far it looks like it is up to me to get past these character flaws.



I'm reminded of a story from the scriptures:

Mat 12:43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.


It seems like a big part of the problem here is the "empty, swept & garnished" house. If you leave a house empty you're just inviting undesirables to make a home there.

Casting off stuff -- like binding the cursing "spirit" — is good. But you've got to replace it with something else. You have to furnish your house. The best thing to furnish your house with is God's way of thinking. You get that from his word. Read the scriptures. Find some verses that offer sharp swords to use in the battles you're waging. Post those verses on your mirror or your fridge if that helps. At the least, work those ideas in your mind. Of course, prayer is vital too, but you say you're already doing that. You need more ammunition on your side. You'll find it in the scriptures.

The whole idea is to reprogram your automatic responses. Now, you (we) respond to stimulus with the ideas/reactions of man. What we want to do is engrain God's ideas in our mind so that when somebody punches B6 on the jukebox of our mind what plays is not evil spirit but holy spirit. It takes quite a bit of time and effort to replace all those old records with God's Hit Parade but it can be done.

These don't have to be "thou shalt NOT" kinds of things. If you're battling cursing, for example, you might look for verses that talk about goodness or a merry heart or kind words. If you want to battle a judging thought, you could work verses about mercy. If you need help identifying specific scriptures to address diffferent behaviors/vices/thoughts/"spirits" I'm sure some of us Bible thumpers could come up with some for you.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 10:14:30 AM EDT
Interesting question, and the answer is either easy, difficult, or irrelevant depending on who you ask.

Many Christians seem to be of the mindset that there is no "good" Christian. You either are one, or you are not. Your comportment, works, and mindset make no difference, since "once saved, always saved".

Others would say that we should try to emulate Christ and adopt his teachings into our daily lives, which is difficult.

I think you have to both talk the talk and walk the walk. It requires a good deal of introspection and humility to recognize what faults you may have, and then it is literally a daily struggle to try to overcome them. But like any effort, the longer you do it, the better you get at it and the easier it becomes. The goal is distant. The Savior closed the Sermon on the Mount by saying, "Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."

Best of luck. We're all in the same boat.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 10:34:32 AM EDT
Love God. Love people. (In that order)
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 6:09:03 AM EDT
If I may share some wisdom from my pastor that I heard last Sunday:

"Our works and ethics are an expression of our devotion to God, but NEVER the reason for God's devotion to us."


AE
Link Posted: 3/3/2006 5:52:47 PM EDT
It's a daily battle to resist the sinful human nature.
Eph. 4:22-24
Luke 9:23
Gal. 5:24
Rom. 6:3-4
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