Genesis 4:6-7 NLT
“Why are you so angry?” the Lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”
If we call ourselves Christians, how do we react when we are made aware of something that we are doing that is wrong?
Do we appreciate the correction/advice, or do we become angry that it has been uncovered?
The attitude that we have in response gives us perspective on the direction that we are headed. If we are headed towards Christ in repentance, we should see the light being shined on those parts of our lives that need correction and improvement as a helpful guide to point out opportunities for improvement.
If we are not interested in repentance and want to sit comfortably where we are without having to make any changes, we will see the light being shined on those areas that need improvement as a hassle/obstacle/limitation/restriction – as we continue to try to scramble to hide those things in the darkness, avoiding redeeming change throughout our lives.
Our attitude in response to correction, in response to discipline, in response to challenges – that response is an indicator of either a healthy attitude of growth and improvement, or an unhealthy attitude of guilt, shame, lack of belief, or denial.
No, we are not yet perfected. But if we aren’t being perfected, have we even put ourselves into the potters hands to be reformed?
So, now that I am admitting to myself that I need to improve my attitude, how do I change my attitude? No amount of our own work or effort changes our attitude. If we have a bad attitude, we don’t make it go away by doing more good works or practicing our religion harder, no.
Prayer, time in the Word, praise and worship, fellowship with other believers – these things shouldn’t be religious practice. No, they should stir the Holy Spirit within a believer, they should motivate us. And when the Holy Spirit is stirred and active, that is when the changes inside occur that strengthen us and teach us and prepare us for the opportunities ahead.
We change our attitude by understanding and accepting the truth of our situation and circumstance. Because once we realize and believe that we are condemned without Christ, but we are freed by our faith, then how can our grattitude for this Grace – God’s mercy and forgiveness and love – not extend and cover us in the peace that passes understanding?
And if we have this peace, and we have this faith that He is teaching and guiding us, won’t we seek to repent and change our lives for the better? And won’t we see correction and discipline as a step ladder to help us reach our lofty goals, instead of a stumbling block keeping us from remaining in darkness?
And let’s not let it stop as just good intentions, let’s change.
Help me be open to encouragement and correction from others, and to seek diligently the trustworthy correction and guidance from the Word of God.
Let the light shine on those things in my life that need correction, so that I can make positive changes and continue growing. If we say that we are children of the light, let us be drawn closer and closer to the light.
Let the imposters be proven by their running away from the light, so they might understand themselves to be blind and naked in the darkness – so they might seize the opportunity to receive this salvation of Christ, and believe, and receive this baptism of the Holy Spirit, of Christin us, and draw near to the light in a renewed life of repentance.
Let’s grow in our faith and in the changes and redemption in our lives as we are refined and perfected by this Holy Spirit in us. It is this renewed relationship with God, this drawing close to His Spirit, that is both our blessing and the proof of our faith.