Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Grace of Conviction

If there is a sure way to find myself in trouble it will be because of my mouth.

Today I find myself feeling awkward about a conversation that hindsight has shone a bright light: I knew too little, and said too much.

It always happens this way.

Had I kept silent for just ten minutes more, I might have realized that the conversation set before me was weighted in waters that run deep. I thought I understood the silent subtext that hung about the room, yet it is only in the looking back I understand.

I spoke openly about a subject that wasn't really on the table. My perception was wrong... my lack of experience and quick jump to conclusion a blazing sign of my ignorance. I should have kept my mouth shut.

I cringe under the weight of regret.

Today I am thankful for grace. Thankful, that God's love can lighten a burden of my own making and offers a reminder to depend on Him, be with Him,  conform to Him.

In all of my imperfection, I can press forward.

I am humbled when conviction is heavy, but feel relief in knowing the 'Giver of grace and comfort' can melt the hardness of my heart, the haste of my tongue, and my selfish perceptions, and turn them into praise.

The Convicting Spirit -

(Valley of Vision, edited by Arthur Bennett))

Come, work repentance in my soul;
Represent sin to me in its odious colours that I may hate it;
Melt my heart by the majesty and mercy of God;
Show me my ruined self and the help there is
     in him;
Teach me to behold my Creator,
     his ability to save,
     his arms outstretched,
     his heart big for me.
May I confide in his power and love,
    commit my soul to him without reserve,
    bear his image, observe his laws,
    pursue his service,
    and be through time and eternity
    a monument to the efficacy of his grace,
    a trophy of his victory.
Make me willing to be saved in his way,
   perceiving nothing in myself, but all in Jesus:
Help me not only to receive him but
    to walk in him,
    depend upon him,
    commune with him,
    be conformed to him,
    follow him,
  imperfect, but still pressing forward,
  not complaining of labour, but valuing rest,
  not murmuring under trials, but thankful
     for my state.
Give me that faith which is the means of salvation,
    and the principle and medium of all godliness;
May I be saved by grace through faith,
    live by faith,
    feel the joy of faith,
    do the work of faith.
Perceiving nothing in myself, may I find in Christ
  wisdom, righteousness, sanctification,


Gretchen said...

Wish I could jump through the screen & give you a hug. Beautifully written, & love the passage. Learning to love conviction (slowly), as it brings me into agreement w/God. So thankful for His grace--and for this devotional this morning.