Man’s love of truth is such that when he loves something that is not the truth, he pretends to himself that what he loves is the truth, and because he hates to be proved wrong, he will not allow himself to be convinced he is deceiving himself.  So he hates the real truth for the sake of what he takes to his heart in its place.  -Augustine as quoted by Os Guinness in Time for Truth p.117

 “pay attention to your tears”  -emily freeman found in her book a million little ways.

if anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. -Jesus Matthew 16:24

the pain of rejection stings.  and of being found out. 

it stings because this is still my life.  my identity.  i am still taking cues from outside assessments of me.

this is my cross.  that i must daily take up.  it’s dying to the getting of my identity from this world. 

but Jesus has said; “whoever wants to save his self will lose his self, but whomever loses his self will find his self.”  self.  psyche.  identity. 

it comes in all sorts of pretty packages.  like bible study, or social justice, or ‘works God has prepared beforehand.’  these were never meant to be my identity.  never. 

and my heart is deceitful above all things, who can fathom it?  it self-protects.  when threatened, it fights back.  hard.

but Jesus has said; “and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

the truth is, i am selfish.  materialistic.  idolatrous. etc. etc. etc.  in its mechanism to self-protect my heart will reject this and fight with every argument and reason that these things are not true.  but they are.  i am more sinful than i dared to imagine …..

and more loved than i dared to hope for. 

when i know this love.  really know it.  it melts me.  and it does set me free…. 

to be found out.  to be rejected.
          to die.

so that i can be resurrected to real life.  real self.  real identity. 
       taking the Gospel into the corners.

maybe this is the ‘mid-life crisis’. (those aren’t really the right words, but i don’t know what else to call it) the realizing the name i’ve not made for myself and the wondering what i now want to do about that.  the investing of years of unknown little deaths…and just wanting them to be known and valued.  the being worn down by all the messages of what truly makes up a life well lived.

now that i ponder these things, what i want more than anything is to live

hating the real lie for the sake of what i take to my heart in its place…..

and in its place…

 could it be joy? …..overwhelming joy?

 in an identity found and dependant on

 the amazing grace
          and greatness of my God.

is this what it means to have grace and peace in abundance?  -2 peter 1:2;  i mean when i am aware of the abundance of grace needed, it’s usually because of the abundance of screw-ups, and so typically an abundance of peace isn’t what goes with that….

here’s my heart Lord.  speak what is true.