Pursuing Holiness While I’m Cursing God and Man

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If the above title sounds like an oxymoron, that’s because it is, but it’s also what my weekend was like. Yesterday was one of those days where I spent the entire day beating myself up over and over and over again. I felt so bad about myself that I ended up wishing I could just stop taking up space and air that other people need and deserve much more than I do.

There are times when I’m writing these posts where I think I make myself sound like my life is all sweetness and light, and God has wonderfully healed me, and I had a terrible childhood, but I’m all better now, and I no longer have any problems. Well, some of that is true, but a lot of it is not.

I did have a terrible childhood, and God did protect me from the worst of it (the worst being that my mother wasn’t able to kill me even though she tried, and my father wasn’t able to get me into the cult even though he tried, and neither was he able to do away with me). And God has healed me from a lot of what happened to me, a fact for which I am incredibly grateful, but there’s still a whole lot that needs to be done.

But when you come from the kind of background I came from, life isn’t going to be all sweetness and light. God has made it so I’m able to find the good in my everyday life. I find great joy in the beauty of His creation, and in listening to beautiful music, as well as Scripture, and in looking at beautiful art. But much of the time I struggle just to make it through a single minute, much less an hour, and even more through a whole day.

Sometimes I wonder how God puts up with me! When I’m having a bad day, I spend the vast majority of it swearing and pulling my hair and yelling at myself (or at God), and then repenting and asking Him to forgive me for the multitudinous millions of mess-ups I made in the last five minutes.

And then I repeat the whole process again and again and again. It feels like I’m drowning in confusion, like there are a bunch of demons swirling around my head ~ even though I know that the Bible says that God is not the author of confusion. All of which means I’m sinning in that TOO!! Yet more condemnation!! Just what I needed.

I once heard a preacher say that if you curse you can’t be saved. Anyone who curses can’t be a Christian. He said it was impossible for anyone who curses to be a Christian. Such a person can’t be saved. That made a big impression on me, because I curse all the time. I’m embarrassed to say it, but I do. I hate that about myself, and I’ve tried time and time again to stop, but I just haven’t been able to conquer it, no matter how much I pray, no matter how much I beg God. I would say that’s my one besetting sin.

Throughout my childhood I heard cursing and swearing from both parents all the time. They fought all the time, and when they did they swore and cursed at each other, calling each other all kinds of terrible names.

I know what the Bible says about the power of the tongue ~ I suppose that’s what got me started down this rabbit trail in the first place. I was reading in James 3 on Friday, and it was like James was reading my mail from two thousand years ago. That’s one of the ways you know that God’s Word is alive ~ when God can use a Scripture passage written two thousand years ago to read your mail today. It’s amazing how He does it, and if I didn’t know He loves me it would make me mad. Fortunately I do know He loves me. I just don’t know how He’s going to get me out of this fix I’m in.

6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. ~ James 3:6-10, NIV.

So based on the premise that I am in fact saved, what that preacher said notwithstanding (one can only hope, right?) I’ll continue blogging and hope that I don’t have many more days like the one yesterday. And I’ll also continue to pray that God helps me to control my tongue, because I HATE it when I swear!! I can’t imagine that it pleases God, and that’s the part that bothers me the most, because I desire above all else to be pleasing to Him.

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. ~ Hebrews 11:6, NKJV.

3 responses »

  1. Sarah,

    If I may put this before you-
    You are writing about is -you are in a period of Lament.
    What do we know about lament? We know it’s an extreme form of worship. There is a whole scriptural book regarding this deep expression of sorrow, pain, anger. The Psalms are full of it, most main characters in Scripture try to come to grips with it.

    There is this disconnect between are hearts and minds, our minds know God loves us, but our hearts wrestle against the full understanding of what this means. We see God above us in our sin, but really He wants to sit with us and comfort us. Remember He suffers too.

    So when that shapeless, nameless evil grabs us and tries to make us think it’s how much we do right, not how God loves us, well then we have to learn it’s a lie . Then we turn and rest in the Lord’s arms.

    It’s times like this when our theology fails and God wins. He is after every bit of you and this awful painful growling in our heads is part of it.

    If we want theology: live in Rules of Grace, not the rules of sin.
    And the two of you who are wounded , together this is an unbreakable heart.

    Sent from my iPad

    Like

  2. Hey Kim. It’s good to hear from you. Thanks for reading my writing, and for taking the time to comment.

    You always seem to know the perfect thing to say, and I can’t tell you how much that means to me.

    Thanks for mentioning the thing about the Psalms being a book of laments ~ aside from the Book of Lamentations, of course. I’d forgotten about that. I’ve never thought of lament in terms of worship, though if you read the Psalms of David where he’s crying out to God about how badly he’s hurting, he always talks about God in terms of His goodness and His holiness. He does ask why sometimes, but he never gets angry at God, or tells God that He messed up ~ and I’ve done that a lot of times ~ VERY loudly.

    I think there’s a a lot I don’t understand about myself, even though I’m incredibly analytical. I think I don’t get the disconnect you talk about. It’s entirely too easy to assume that what I’m aware of on the surface (what’s in my mind) is all there is without trying to go any deeper to what’s in my heart.

    I actually find that kind of strange, because generally speaking, I do go deeper. I don’t stay on the surface. And if I do stay on the surface, the reason is because going deeper would be painful, and I’m not ready to face whatever the pain is about. I mean I definitely have enough pain to go around!

    And then there’s the whole cursing thing, and what that preacher said. I’d really like it to be different. I need to know that my cursing won’t keep me out of Heaven.

    I think I have to stop now. I haven’t slept in a long time, and I’m having a hard time staying awake. So even though I have more I want to say I can’t say it now, mostly because I’m so sleepy that I can’t remember what it was. I think I covered most of it already though.

    I love you, and I’m so glad you commented on my post.

    Blessings,

    Sarah

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  3. Sarah,

    I hope you got some good sleep! Its such a necessary part of daily recovery.

    Hopefully I can clarify; imo, the heart /mind connection has nothing to do with going deeper. It is when your emotional self solidifies what you heart already knows. The is a Holy Spirit thing not a human thing. That is if I understood your reply correctly. My brain isnt functioning that well either…….

    The Spirit isn’t going to take us to that place unless we can handle it.
    With all the PTSD stuff you have to handle, that is a lot, and we know by a lot- Its a lot.

    I feel like God taught me something this weekend, hopefully its ok to share. I watched this show about the beginning of Napa Valley wines. And the main character said

    ‘ You have to put the grape plants through stress to make good wine.’ If you give the vines everything they want the grapes become to fat and sugary and develop a non pleasing flavor, the wine has no body; is to sweet and good for nothing’ – Not direct quotes-

    And what came right to my head? You probably already guessed. John 15- I wish I could print the whole thing out, but its long and anyone can just read it.

    So boom, there was the mind/heart connect. The understanding of why life can be so hard became clear to me. And when God teaches us something, its really hard to quantify to other people. But what that did for me, is the realization that when I fall, when I feel like I cant take it anymore, God is not upset with me, He is with me. There He, is even though sometimes it seems like He is soooooo far away. Its really when He is the closest. Our minds just make it seem like He is clouded over

    So no, I totally absolutely 100% disagree with the Pastor. What He said makes God seems small and petty and immature. God is everything, the strongest, the smartest, has the most Love, so far beyond what we are that it is hard to imagine the function of how He works. And He is real with us, and He wants us to be real with Him. Its part of a healthy relationship.

    So this process you are going through, the lament- Such a good word -its expressing sorrow or as Websters put it’ Crying out in grief, to mourn out loud’
    Or some of the synonyms bemoan, wail, deplore, grieve, growl, howl wail. Sounding a little familiar?

    Words do have power, but who originated the power? So thinking any words you can say to God over rides the Cross? How would that be possible? The only thing that can over ride the Cross, is a person refusing the Holy Spirit over and over again until God says.

    I will wait for you and moves further away

    As you can see I find what that pastor said very disturbing and is God is not the God of fear, but power and strong mind (2 Timothy 1:7) This verse, when I was first saved, and still dealing with PTSD was my life line. The other was Isaiah 41:10 Do not be afraid, I am with you.

    Yes you can say that verse is about Israel, but those are the words Jesus said to me the night I was saved. And though we know He also says this in Matthew, for some reason I know it was Isaiah.

    I have to get going now, besides the point I am long winded, I am going to be late.

    But know, we love you, how much more God loves you and this battle you are in? You are not alone by a long shot.

    Love
    Kim

    Like

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