Dear Self, how often do I indulge you?
I was convicted that indulgence in clothing purchases was a problem last year. The Lord challenged me this year with the tragedy in Haiti to die to that indulgence. I failed once. Fortunately I have a friend who loves me enough to hold me accountable and ask me, "how is your commitment going?" ~gulp!~
Why why do I freely indulge in things that have no eternal value? I have been seeing things in a different light recently. The Light. Of Eternity. It's where I am instructed to fix my eyes, but I forget. So I am asking myself this question with daily things, "What will this gain for heaven?"
Freedom has been a common buzz word in Christianity in the last decade. Unfortunately so has calling each other names like "legalistic" and "judgemental". But I have to ask, "have we undone ourselves?" Have we successfully snuffed out the light in our "freedom"? Have we used our freedom to indulge the sinful nature instead of to serve one another as God intended?...
Do we live our lives in self-protection instead of honoring one another?
I have been reading the Chronological One Year Bible this year, and frankly the Old Testament leaves me with a lot of questions. As a result, I have been enjoying rich commentary on 2 Samuel this week. I have been challenged deeply in this area (indulgence) as I learn of how King David indulged himself and then his sons, which resulted in depravity when they were left undisciplined. It is a sad story. If you are curious, you can read here. The king who has a heart after God lost so much when he indulged himself and his children...God is always merciful when we are repentant (and even when we are not!) but often the consequences of our choices are not removed.
.to yield to, satisfy, or gratify (desires, feelings, etc.): to indulge one's appetite for sweets..to yield to the wishes or whims of; be lenient or permissive with: to indulge a child.
.to allow (oneself) to follow one's will (usually fol. by in): to indulge oneself in reckless spending.
deny oneself, to refrain from satisfying one's desires or needs; practice self-denial.
Daily I have a choice. One way is easy, the other is hard.
Lord, help me to live in obedience. Thank you that you died to cover my sins and then you sent your Spirit to live in me and enable me to deny myself. I cannot do it without you. Help me be considerate of others in my choices, and to honor you. Amen.