I headed out for church this morning without Dan, leaving him home in bed with the fever and headache I was nursing last weekend. He was in a sorry state when I left, bugs coursing through his veins and sucking the life from him like microscopic vampires.
I worked in the nursery during the first service, clutching a discontented, nursing newborn to my chest–a child who was totally unimpressed with the efforts of a milkless matron attempting to do an impression of his mother. By the time I went upstairs for the second service , I was exhausted. I dropped into my seat in the fifth row waiting to be blessed as my pastor, Louie, preached the Word.
I cruised through the praise songs, but the worship drama left me a bit unsettled: a collection of disillusioned believers gathered around a blood-stained cross for a second look, remembering what had brought them there the very first time. Their inability to live anything but a self-centered, sinful life. And God’s gift of total forgiveness and restoration to himself through Jesus Christ.
Then Louie’s Words: “There’s a slice of Hitler in all of us. Something willing to destroy others to achieve our goals.”
My upcoming release with Moody Publishers, The Silent Seduction of Self-Talk explores that slice of sin in each of us–our ability to simultaneously believe I am doing good but be acting for self-serving goals. Even when we’re performing acts of service, we often do them to impress, to gain brownie points, to serve hidden motives.
I headed home today unexpectedly blessed, reminded of God’s unfathomable gift of his Son on the cross. And while sin still courses through my veins, by the gace of God, I’m redeemed. And through the power of the Holy Spirit, I can live a life motivated by love, choosing to love and serve, instead of take.
On the drive home, I decided what kind of soup I could offer Dan when I got home. I made up my mind that it wouldn’t matter if he moaned a bit more than I like or had dropped a pile of dirty Kleenexes on the floor. I plotted my own Valkyrie to wipe out the spirit of Hitler in my soul and love my husband in spite of what my personal agenda might be.
It was a good afternoon–worshipping as I bent to tuck a blanket around my husband’s shoulders.