This is the one I just want to get out of the way. Jon Acuff once wrote this great blog (that I couldn’t find) about how in his accountability group his friends viewed certain sins as higher than others. The blog ended up being about gluttony, which is something I’ve already talked about. But I specifically remember him saying how his friends always thought that Lust was the creme dela creme of sins. And as I mentioned in my blog about pride, that isn’t true. Pride is the worst sin, but lust always seems to follow closely, doesn’t it?
Lust or lechery (carnal “luxuria”) is an intense desire. It is usually thought of as excessive sexual wants; however, the word was originally a general term for desire.
Lust and All Its Friends:
Okay, so let’s stop there for a second. Lust is defined as an intense desire. Originally it was a general term for desire. So while I definitely struggle with “sexual wants”, it’s important to note that I also intensely desire other things. And in that way Lust and Gluttony go hand in hand. One is the excessive desire, and the other is excessive consumption.
Lust also goes with Pride (well, everything goes with pride). When you give into your “excessive desires”, you’re basically telling God that you don’t want to wait for Him to provide things for you. You’re saying “You timing isn’t perfect, so I’m going to go after my Lust RIGHT NOW.” If God’s timing isn’t perfect, I don’t know what is.
In the Bible:
But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:28)
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; (1 Thess. 4:3-5)
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. (Col. 3:5)
“Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. (1 Corinth. 6:13)
I don’t think it could be more clear. God does not want us to lust after things, and he wants us to abstain from sexual immorality.
In My Life:
I’ve dealt with lust for probably 7 years now. It started as an innocent search for answers. I was 13, my body was changing, I was in middle school and EVERYONE was sex obsessed. So I went to the internet hoping to gain some knowledge. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, right?
My “innocent” search turned to an addiction to erotic stories. A lot of people say that’s fine. Like they say “Oh, a lot of Christians read stuff like that. No big.” And what I always say is “If that doesn’t affect them, great, but I know stuff like that hinders my walk.” The same goes for explicit music. I can’t listen to 90% of rap music because even the smallest, most insignificant sexual reference can get my mind on a bad path. It goes downhill REALLY quickly.
So the stories led to masturbation. Here’s a funny thing about this. NO ONE likes the word masturbation. I think of Fat Amy in this instance “Still not a good enough reason to use the word [masturbation].” But let’s get real with each other, okay? I told you, this is all about transparency.
When I was 17, and on my first quest to seek God a midst my struggles with Lust, I told a few really good friends about my struggles with masturbation. Some, the older and wiser few, said they understood. They’d had the same problems. That was encouraging because when you’re a girl and you masturbate (I’m not going to stop using the word. Get over it.) you think you’re the only one. It’s way more socially acceptable for guys to do it, but no one EVER talks about girls doing it. But this is a whole other issue.
There were the people who said they would pray for me, but the overwhelming majority of the friends I told who were my age said “It’s not a big deal. More people do it than you think.” Another side note, if someone tells you something, whether you realize how hard it is for them, NEVER say it isn’t a big deal! Just don’t. Anyway, it’s not about whether “more people do it”, it’s about how far it takes you from your walk with God.
Lust has taken me down some dark paths. Now, hear me, I’m still a virgin. A lot of people think that if they’re virgins, it’s no big deal if they mess around with themselves. But that doesn’t mean it’s right. Virginity doesn’t equal sexual purity. That may sound really weird, and it’s TOTALLY not cultural, but I go back to Matthew 5:28, “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” At a youth conference once, the speaker was asked if there’s anything biblically wrong with masturbation, and she said “Maybe not the act itself, but the thoughts behind it definitely.” Try to tell me you’ve ever masturbated WITHOUT sinful thoughts.
But this isn’t about you. This is about me.
The point is, Lust is one of the Seven Deadly Sins for a reason. It isn’t pleasing to God, and it can seriously screw up my relationship with my Creator.
Where God Steps In:
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 says:
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous[b] will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,[c] 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
There is good news for us sinners. God washed us. He sanctified us. He set us apart. We WERE sinners, and even if we still ARE, he is constantly working on us to save us from darkness. He’s fighting a winning battle against Satan, and it’s our choice whether we want to win and be with Him forever, or lose and spend an eternity being tormented by our sins.
A pug dressed as a hot dog, eating a hot dog at an event called “Bark in the Park.” Monday, you’re alright.
I was going to sleep the other night when my roommate reminded me that I was supposed to post one of the Seven Deadly Sins. That was Sunday. Today’s Tuesday. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Today’s sin is Pride, and most would cite it as the worst one. It’s the sin that all other sins spring out of. According to Wikipedia (an obviously legitimate source) “In almost every list, pride (Latin, superbia), or hubris (Greek), is considered the original and most serious of the seven deadly sins, and the source of the others.” Proverbs 6:5 says: “Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.” Pride is an abomination to the Lord. I mean, that’s a pretty serious word!
It is identified as a desire to be more important or attractive than others, failing to acknowledge the good work of others, and excessive love of self (especially holding self out of proper position toward God).
In The Bible:
Adam and Eve eating the apple because they thought they deserved to know as much as God, oh and right, SATAN.
It is LITERALLY the original sin, because Lucifer, in his pride, wanted to be better than God, so he got kicked out of Heaven and got Hell in the bargain and still thinks he’s awesome, but God’s going to stomp on him in the end. He’s gonna STOMP. Okay, I’m done.
In My Life:
When I was getting ready to go to London last summer, our group had an orientation. It wasn’t very long, but it was pretty powerful. I definitely wouldn’t have been prepared without it. Anyway, we were doing exercises to work on listening prayers and discernment. Our leader, Joy, told us to ask the Lord to put a game in our head to play with Him. We went around the circle and told each other, and when we got to mine I said, “Chess. God wants to play chess with me.” Joy said “Why?” And I said ”Because I’ve never been good at chess, and he knows I don’t like to do things I’m not good at.” And she said “Do you think there’s anything more serious in that?” And I said “No, I don’t think so.”
Even as I said it I knew I was lying. It was during that summer when God really started to work on me about my pride. I always thought it was my other, more obvious sins that were keeping me from wanting to be with Him, but he was like “No, you’re super prideful. Get over yourself.”
When God tells you to get over yourself, you should probably do it. Still, it’s not like it’s easy. We can blame it on human nature, we can blame it on ANYTHING else, but it always comes back to our own pride.
I could tell you EXACTLY hoe prideful I am, but that blog would last for days. By the second day you’d be like “Okay, I get it. You have a lot of pride. Okay.” But here’s one:
I always think that I’m great at certain things that I don’t put much work into. I take a test I didn’t study hard for, and I think I did pretty great. Before my teacher gives it back she’ll say something like “You guys did pretty good, but some of you were excellent”, and I’m always inclined to think I was the excellent one. Then I get a B on the test and that’s usually …
Where God Steps In:
God always knows how to humble us in the most unusual, and sometimes embarrassing ways. I HATE failing. And it’s usually when I fail at something when He’s like “stop relying on yourself. You can’t get you anywhere.” Isn’t that something?
My cheeks flush, my heart races and all I can think is HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN?? Still, His grace covers us and no matter how badly we failed, how much He humbled us, He still loves us. He still wants to be with us. He humbles us so we can remember we don’t do things for our glory, but for His. And that’s a good place to start working towards true humility.
So, I wrote a blog about gluttony, and I promised a blog about pride. So I figured, why not go through all the Seven Deadly Sins? I assume everyone knows what they are. Lust, Pride, Envy, Sloth, Gluttony, Greed, and Wrath, in case you don’t. (I had to look up a couple. It’s kind of like trying to name the 7 Dwarfs off the top of your head. I bet you just started trying to do that). I’ll be doing a sort of in depth analysis of them all and putting myself on the spot. Because, really, transparency is the best policy. And it’s the way to freedom.
I can’t guarantee that these posts will be consistent, but I’ll try to do one a day for the next week. I apologize if I’m late, but I think you guys are kind of used to it by now.
To kick this off, I want to do a little introduction. I mean, that’s the best way to do a series, right?
So I’m a pastor’s kid. That’s not something I ever used to be forthright about. It wasn’t because I was ashamed of it, I just never thought to bring it up. In high school most of my friends had SOME sort of faith base, even if they didn’t believe in anything at that point, so I didn’t view my Christianity as anything strange.
It was a little different in college. I had my first real exposure to a “secular environment” when I moved into a dorm. None of my roommates went to church, one of them was a teenage alcoholic, and said teenage alcoholic once tried to get me to go to a club. I told her I’d go to a club if she’d come to church with me. That stopped the conversation about clubbing, but it did open up a REALLY Spirit-led conversation about her problems with church.
This doesn’t have much to do with my point, just an anecdote.
Anyway, last semester I was trying to get into this Honors Fraternity and we’d have to do these interviews, and they were really long interviews, so at some point we ALWAYS got to talking about my parents. And most of the people in that fraternity are not believers, but they were able to talk about faith and religion in a really mature way. Still, I think it made them uncomfortable when I said “My parents are pastors.”
Because suddenly their perception of me changed. Suddenly I was someone who was looking at them and judging them for all the crazy stuff they’d told me they’d done. It’s one thing to be a Christian, but it’s a whole other thing to be a Pastor’s kid. Because that’s what Christians do right? We judge and condemn. (I also wrote a creative non-fiction piece about this.)
This is all just a very roundabout way of saying that people dislike Christians because of how they think we judge them for their sins. I once had a friend say to me “I didn’t know you’re a Christian. You’re not judgmental at all.” And while 95% of the time that’s NOT true, it really broke my heart.
Because we all judge each other for our sins. I judge a LOT, but I try not to let that change my perception of someone. It’s like this - I HATE smoking. I hate the smell, I hate the act, I’ve never done it and I never intend to. And I’ll make friends with someone and I’ll find out they smoke and my immediate reaction is “Eww, that’s disgusting”. I judge smoking, and I judge them for smoking, and even though I may never stop being their friend because they smoke, I’ll always be a little disappointed when they choose to do it.
Now insert “smoking” for any other sin. I am judgmental. And I am a sinner. And while I’ve started to try to view sinning differently (Love the sinner, hate the sin in your own life - Andrew Marin), I still judge people a little bit for certain things.
And we all have sins that we think are worse than others, but the truth is, they’re all the same to God. That isn’t to say that adultery is only as bad as lying, but rather that lying is just as bad as adultery. We try to justify sins by saying they aren’t that bad, but they’re all bad. Just accept it!
So anyway, I vow to be transparent about my 7 Deadly Sins. I don’t ask anyone to do the same, but I do ask you to examine how you feel about me afterwards. And then examine your judgmental tendencies. And then ask God to forgive them. We aren’t called to judge anyone, we’re just called to love. That’s something I have to learn too.
“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.” (1 Tim. 1:15)
This is a Relient K appreciation post. Well, really it’s kind of the story of my life.
It starts around … I want to say 2004. I’ve been thinking a lot about the exact time I started listening to Relient K, and I THINK that’s the year it happened. Their song “Getting Into You” was a big one on the Christian radio station (the only radio station my mom listened to in her car. And since I always rode with my mom it was all I listened to). My sister bought their album Two Lefts Don’t Make a Right … But Three Do. She begrudgingly let me borrow her CD (yes, this was before iPods were really popular), and the rest, they say, is history.
Actually not at all. You think you were going to get a blog that short? YEAH RIGHT! So not long after she let me borrow her precious CD I got the chance to see them at Universal Studios’ annual Rock the Universe. To be honest, my sister was a way bigger fan than me. I felt bad that I got to see them when she didn’t, but I got over it quickly. They were SO GOOD! So good in fact that after that concert I went to Best Buy and bought every single CD I could find. Luckily, their 4th album MMHMM (aka my FAVORITE album) had just come out. I listened to all four CDs (admittedly, their 1st CD isn’t my favorite) until I’d memorized every word. I read/watched every online interview I could find, which wasn’t so easy because YouTube hadn’t quite caught on yet.
By 13 I was completely obsessed, and I could firmly tell anyone that my favorite band was Relient K (this is still a huge deal because if you ask me my favorite ANYTHING I can’t really give you a straight answer). Now, at 13 I was just angry ALL THE TIME. But suddenly there was this great outlet for anytime I wanted to purge myself of emotions. I’d just pop in whichever RK cd I was listening to at the time and act out whichever emotion I was feeling strongest. (Usually it was crying. I’ve cried a lot to Relient K).
In 2008 I felt like my world was going to fall apart. You can read about what a hard year that was here because I don’t feel like writing it again. I bought my dad a ticket to see Relient K in concert because I couldn’t drive myself. This sounds really sad. I even feel sad thinking about it. But the concert, once again, was AMAZING. It was my first introduction to B. Reith (All this is in the aforementioned blog), but more than that it was when I knew that everything would be okay.
Relient K just got me. More than that, they had exactly the right songs to pull me out of my funk. Whenever I was alone I would put all their albums on shuffle (by then I did have an iPod) and I wouldn’t feel so lonely.
There are certainly points in my life when I just don’t listen to them. It doesn’t mean anything, I just listen to a lot of different music. But without fail they’re who I want to listen to when I’m upset. Even last week I was listening to them on repeat because I was dealing with some dreams that weren’t working out, and that hurt like crap. And last Saturday I got to see them live for the third time and they were fantastic as always.
So this is just mad love for Relient K, and especially Matt Thiessen because I’m pretty sure “Killing Me Softly”was written about him. You know, “Strumming my pain with his fingers, singing my life with his words”. On every album (even my least favorite, Relient K) there is a song that describes my problems exactly. And on every album there is a song that makes me feel better about my problems.
Thanks, Relient K, for giving me a soundtrack for the last 9 years.
As promised, here is my food blog. Man, I really do have a LOT to say. This comes from 20 years of being a fatty. I have always loved food. Well … maybe it’s more that I love to eat. I also hate being hungry. Love of eating and hatred of hunger equal a deadly combination. (By deadly I mean Diabetes, Heart disease, bad cholesterol, the list could go on).
Warning: this blog is going to be deep with a chance of Jesus Juking. If you don’t want to read bad things about food, stop now. No one’s going to judge you.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on with it.
I did a diet cleanse recently (like not even a week ago. You can read about it HERE) and it taught me a lot about my eating habits. For one, I like to eat ALL THE TIME. Which, when eating healthy food, doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I mean, there are days when I’m just not down with eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner when I’m supposed to. Some days I don’t have time to eat every meal so I’d rather snack all day and get my fill.
Here’s where that becomes a problem: when I’m not even remotely hungry and I eat anyway.
- Going to the movies and getting popcorn AFTER EATING DINNER.
- Well, getting anything at the movies, really. It’s all expensive and unhealthy! (No one needs a soda the size of a small child).
- Getting food at a restaurant, getting a box (because let’s be serious, the portions are HUGE) and picking at the food in the box until there isn’t any food left.
- Going to buffets. I really don’t think I need to expand on that one.
These are just a few of numerous examples. The point is, when you eat and you aren’t hungry you’re a glutton and the bible has a lot to say about gluttony.Relevant Magazine also had a GREAT ARTICLE about gluttony last week. I mean, really, this is just an issue God has thrown into my face in the past few days.
We also have to remember that our whole purpose is to glorify God. So how does eating correlate with glorifying God? As I mentioned in my “Conclusion” post of the diet cleanse, food is meant to nourish us. We aren’t supposed to indulge in it. We aren’t supposed to eat until we want to vomit. My parents always say when they finish eating: “I’m going to stop while I’m comfortable.”
This is interesting to me, because you would THINK that overindulging would make you want to stop. Yet we overindulge on a daily basis, and then get right back at it the next day. I spent many a Sunday afternoon as a teenager curled up on the couch in the fetal position because I ate too much.
That’s wrong. That’s gluttony. That is why I’m overweight. And to be honest, this is NOT something I want to talk about at all. I mean, I’d rather be completely transparent in other ways. I’d rather tell you how I’ve committed the other 6 deadly sins (pride ESPECIALLY … ooh, that’s going to be my next blog), but talking about my weight makes me uncomfortable. It usually warrants a subject change.
Yet it’s something God’s been convicting me about. It’s not about my weight, per se, but rather how I got to this point. Maybe it’s good for me to realize now when I can take the steps to change it more easily than if I wait 10 years. Still, it is something I NEED to change. It’s something that God has put in my heart. It’s not about being skinnier or prettier, but rather about being healthier so I can carry out what God needs me to do.
And I could go into the healthier aspect of it all, because that’s important too, but I think the most important thing is to beware of becoming gluttonous. Nourish your body so it’s able to do God’s work, but don’t indulge it until you become too tired and lazy and out of shape to do His work.
Battle of Hogwarts, 02.05.1998
Happy 15th anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts. R.I.P. Fred, Remus, Tonks, and the countless others who lost their lives.
*Raises wand in the air*
This is an interesting concept, but one that I whole-heartedly believe in. Everyone always says “Be you” “You’re perfect how you are” “Don’t ever change”. And these are REALLY nice sentiments, but how can you ever become who you’re going to be if you don’t try something different?
I was told recently that I’m a very inclusive person, to which I responded “I don’t really try to be.” Not that I try to be exclusive either, it’s just not something I’ve ever TRIED to do. But I can see how people might think that. I don’t like anyone to feel left out of things. I didn’t have a lot of friends when I was younger, and even at the points when I’ve had the most friends, I never had such good friends as I have right now. Anyway, now when I see people by themselves I’m like “They look miserable, let me go talk to them.” So no, I wouldn’t call myself inclusive, but I would say that I know what it feels like to be excluded, and that isn’t fun.
So what does that have to do with the title? I’m so glad you asked. I hate talking to people I don’t know. It’s fine when the conversation gets going, but I DREAD the first part. The “Hi, my name is Chelsea, what’s yours.” For the same reason I also hate calling people I don’t know. It’s fine once I get it over with and I see it wasn’t that bad, but that first part is more awkward than I can bear. My Summer ‘11 roommates know that I just don’t do awkward. (Shout out to Ashley and Paige <3)
But sometimes, you just have to get over it. And by sometimes I mean always. Summer 2011 was also when I went to work at a summer camp where I knew NO ONE. I was so sure I wouldn’t make friends, and I’d be miserable, and it was Oklahoma. Do I really need to say more? (I mean, my opinion changed afterward lol). But that first day of orientation when we were all checking in, I said to myself “Man up! You’re going to be with these people all summer, no need to put off introductions.” I also knew that none of them knew me. I didn’t have to be the girl I was back home. I didn’t have baggage and I didn’t have a past there. Even though my heart was pounding out of my chest and I felt like I was going to faint (which could have been a side effect of the heat), I just had to get over that awkward introduction part. And the first guy I introduced myself to has become one of my closest friends.
You see what happens when you stop letting yourself get in the way?
When I’m nervous about talking to someone, I pretend I’m my friend Tammi. Tammi literally will go up and talk to anyone. ANYONE. And she has no inhibitions about it. She is legitimately inclusive. So I just say “What would Tammi do in this situation?” And usually, the answer is just to talk to someone. I’ve made quite a few good friends over a handful of semesters in my writing classes just because I decided to say something to them.
So, you see, if you don’t push yourself past yourself you’re going to miss a lot. You’ll miss opportunities to make new friends, and experience new things. And that advice doesn’t just go for naturally introverted people! Everyone can do to be someone else for a little while, just so that they can grow into who they’re supposed to be.
I’ve been working toward my future this week. This is important, because I’ve been feeling like I’m in limbo lately. I still have a semester of school left, I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing after I graduate, and I haven’t really tried to be sure what I’m doing. And as a person who HAS to plan everything, this has been very difficult to cope with.
But today I took quite a few active steps toward my future. The first is that I had lunch with the Florida Candidates Secretary today. For those of you who aren’t involved with The Salvation Army (if I even have any readers who aren’t) she’s basically the advocate and middle man for people who are considering going into The Salvation Army seminary.
So that was a BIG step. In fact, admitting this in a public place is a big step. It’s not like it’s a huge secret or anything, but I’ve been keeping my call to officership quiet for a long time. We talked about that today at lunch. It’s a humbling thing to be someone who has said for a long time “I’m not called to officership.” So it’s not easy to come out and say “Yeah, okay I am”. In any case, I’m called. And I’m going to FOF retreat in September, and I’m REALLY excited about that!
The second step was that I set a date for a volunteer orientation with this really cool organization called Academy Prep. They basically serve under privileged kids in a really nice school. It gives them an opportunity to experience education that they probably wouldn’t get otherwise.
I also quit my job today. Well, I quit A job today. I’ve been blessed with two this semester, but it was starting to be way more than I could handle. So I quit. I’ve been at this job for two and a half years, so it was a really hard decision for me to reach.
So what’s the point of all this good news? That God gets all the glory for them. Because his timing is perfect. I’ve been thinking about leaving that job for a long time, but when I realized how much I was sacrificing for no reason, I knew it was time to leave.
And God has so thoroughly affirmed that all my decisions were correct. He’s opened doors and affirmed my decision through the words of other people. It’s AMAZING to me how much God has proved to me that I’m making the right decision, and I’ve never been more sure that i’m making the right decision.
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