Tag Archive | David

Coloring Outside The Lines ~ True Beauty

I spent many years with a very low self-esteem.  I’m no Barbie Doll, I’ve always been just a tiny bit curvy, and sometimes more than a tiny bit.  Some men in my life referred to it as pleasantly plump, as it wasn’t obese or even what they considered fat, just curvy.  They even felt I was very sexy.  There are some men who told me that I needed to gain weight, as they are into far heavier girls than myself, and then there were those like the ones I married who liked their women skinny.  I’ve never been skinny other than when I was very sick in high school.  But I would strive for perfection in other ways, with lots of make-up and the 80’s mega huge big hair.  I always longed to see myself through someone else’s eyes because no matter what I still never felt attractive.  Many things in life impacted my self-esteem from being  the picked on, bullied  kid in school to the unfaithfulness of spouses.  Those will leave a lot of scars on the self image.

Being sexual creatures we are drawn to physically attractive people.  Lust is a powerful force and can tempt even the most faithful, God-fearing men and women astray.  Even King David, described in the Bible as a man after God’s own heart, was led astray into deep sin by way of lust.  Few of us could claim a faith and walk as David’s so we ought to be very careful to guard against lust.  And images are one of those ways we can get caught up or catch someone else up in sexual sins.

As someone who has had a number of professional, nude photo shoots, I’m guilty of causing others to sin through lust.  My photos were published on a website that was free, but also on one that was a pay site.  And I loved the photos, not going to lie.  The photographer was a true artist and they were very classy photos.  I did them and the then husband found it very hot.  Other than the risks of people we knew finding out, he thought it even hotter that other men were lusting for what he had.  And lust they did, I had a number of fans that would email me via the photographer, and through other means.  It seemed so harmless at the time, and did my self esteem a world of good, but it was dead wrong.  Those photos are still floating around, and needless to say due to those I will not be running for any public office (though I’d run on a complete, open door platform and put those out there myself).  But every time someone sees one and lusts, I’ve led that person to sin.  That is now my prayer, that those images will vanish from cyberland, and for the heart and soul of anyone who sees them.  It is a heavy weight to carry knowing you’ve caused and continue to cause others to stumble by coloring outside of the lines.

Over time I’ve come to learn that true beauty is what you see when the lights are turned off.  It is what beauty looks like in the dark.  In the dark, or if unable to see a person physically, you focus on the inner portion, their heart.  The person who is truly beautiful is the one who is a beautiful soul on the inside.  I’ve met many very attractive people outwardly, but their hearts are full of strife, jealousy, bitterness, and hatred.  There is nothing at all appealing in those things.  Selfish and self centered, they may be pretty on the surface, but inside is one ugly individual.

Even now, as I’ve dated and been told over an over again that I am attractive, hot, sexy etc., it does my self esteem good.  But I’d rather be known for the inner beauty.  The true beauty of a heart and soul that puts Christ first, seeks to please Him, and is generous, kind and loving toward others.  It can take a lot of work to look pretty on the outside, but only God can make us beautiful on the inside, where it counts.

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Coloring Outside The Lines – How It Began

Sin never seems to just burst through the door waving a flag, blowing on a bugle and screaming “COME ON FOLLOW ME!”  Instead it creeps in slowly, at least in a believer’s life.  Like David on the roof top, maybe we look just a little too long, or take a second glance.  Someone flirts and we flirt back.  Someone gossips or speaks ill of someone, and instead of shutting it down by changing the subject or walking away we join in and make an unkind remark.  Someone tries to provoke us and instead of praying for our enemies as God commands, and loving them as His Word instructs, we poke back.  Maybe we reason away that one drink won’t hurt anything when we know we might have a problem controlling our alcohol intake.

Regardless of what it is, we let it slip in through a crack that forms in our foundation.  That crack happens when we take our eyes off the Lord, when we start letting other things come between us and prayer time, study time, and gathering with other Christians.  Maybe it is a TV show, or a football game, staying up late and over sleeping on Sunday morning.  Whatever it is we allow things to start taking priority in our lives.  In and of themselves they are not bad or wrong things, but we let them come before what is most important.  And anything that we put ahead of the Lord is an idol.  Over time we hold that up, giving it attention when something else should be getting our attention.  The crack starts there.

What begins as a hairline crack, nearly undetectable at first, starts to grow in length and width.  Not fast, mind you.  It takes time.  We start to notice short comings in others because if we are focused on them and their behavior, we are not focused so much on our own.  We become disgruntled, the crack grows more.  Dirty water from around the foundation begins to seep in through the crack.  Just a drop here and there, but then bigger drops, and more of them, until it is a tiny stream.

The bible says in James 1:12-15:

12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.

We’re first tempted, when we let our desires seep in through the cracks.  We are enticed by fantasies and dreams, and we begin to breathe life into them, verbalizing and sharing them.  As time goes by they grow and become more prominent in our speech.  Before long those desires conceive and give birth to sin.  We act upon the desires and fantasies, and the crack breaks open more and sin is born.

That is exactly how it happened.  Time, events, “life” got in the way of what was important.  Little by little, we let more and more things become more important than being at church.  And the fantasies began to be voiced, talked about, used to entice and excite.  In time they were acted upon and we began to lead 2 lives, one that on the surface looked like we were good, church going, bible believing Christians.  The other was kept in secret and away from the eyes of friends and family.  We made new “friends” that helped us to justify what we were doing.  Consenting adults, it wasn’t sin if we both were in agreement.

The first clue that something is a sin might be the ‘secret’ part.  When you have to hide it, there is a reason.  Cheating on your spouse usually starts out with secrets…texts, flirts, emails, conversations, meeting up for drinks or lunch, things you do when your significant other is not around.  Things you would never do in front of them with their full knowledge because it is WRONG and you know darn well what their reaction would be.  If you cannot share it with the church family, or your blood family because they would ‘judge’ your actions as wrong, then maybe you need to be thinking again.  Hidden things, secret things, things that could cost you your position in the church, damage your testimony and/or reputation, cost you your marriage….yes those things are not okay, or you would not be hiding them.

We justified that they would not understand, even tried to convince ourselves that God never intended for us to be monogamous because after all, He made us with these desires and as long as we go home each time with our spouse at the end of the night or party, then it is okay.  If it was we wouldn’t have been hiding what we were doing.  I believe deep down we both knew very well what we were doing was completely wrong and sinful.  But oh the fun, the parties, the open mindedness.  Sharing intimacy wasn’t really my  thing, that was the other half’s joy.  But I enjoyed the parties, dressing inappropriately sexy and embracing the knowledge that I was sexy, desirable and so many men wanted me.  Sure, that was indeed a draw, but what I really wanted more than anything was for my spouse to feel that way about me, and me ONLY.  But I walked into this with him and saw no real way out.  Instead of shutting down those fantasies when they first came up, I put him on the pedestal and tried my best to be what I believed he wanted.  I am just as guilty as he is for where we went.  I could have prayed for him, steered things gently away from the sinful desires, but I opted to feed the flames.  I put my husband’s desires and happiness ahead of the Lord, I actually made him my idol.  I carried things entirely too far from his being my hero and center of my world, when I should have had his spiritual health, the state of his soul as my major concern.  Instead of praying, I added to the temptation.  I ate from the forbidden fruit through the images I’d verbally weave and handed the fruit off to him.

Let my coloring book stand as a warning.  We cannot allow even the smallest temptation to cross over into our lives.  Once we let just the smallest sin in, it takes over and grows.  I have no idea who said it, but I’ll stop tonight with this thought, as it is so very true:

Sin  will take you further than you want  to go.  It will keep you longer than you want to stay.  And it will cost you more than you want to pay.

Psalm 51 – The Way Back To God

I’m re-reading a fantastic book, The Way Back To God by Clarence Sexton.  The dedication in the book reads:

This book is dedicated to all those who have come back to God. I mean by this, true children of God who have drifted and have repented of their sin and cast themselves on God’s mercy for the way back to Him.

In the introduction it mentions that “David’s heart cry in Psalm 51 is the sinner’s guide back to God”. 

A dear friend gave me this book in December of 2010, when I first went back to my church home.  I was the prodigal child, who had gone into the “world” and squandered my riches.  In this case my riches were the blessings, love and support of fellow believers, my testimony of faith, various friendships etc.  At the time I had no idea what was really going on was an issue within MY heart.  Oh, I did not agree with somethings that were being done at my church home, but I did not react in love.  My heart was growing black with a sinful secret life being led while each week attending services to worship.  What could have been an opportunity to share my heart with the elders in my church, and perhaps open their thinking and hearts to a different perspective, became my springboard of justifying leaving.  I still believe things were not handled as they should have been, but I certainly was not behaving in a Christ like manner.  The problem with any church body and leadership is…they are human.  Therefore prone to make mistakes, and we expect them to somehow behave as anything other than sinners, be they saved by grace or not.

King David was “a man after God’s own heart”, precious and blessed by God, protected and loved.  And he loved God too, and served Him and found great favor with God.  Of all people we would not imagine could not only sin, but then keep digging deeper into the pit of darkness, it is King David.  He went from sinful lust, to adultery, to lying, to murder.  This was because, as the book says, “If you allow something to come between you and your walk with God, there is no telling how far you will go and what terrible things you might do if you keep going in the wrong direction.”   Oh true words these are!  I did not take every thought captive to to Christ as the bible teaches to do.  Instead, my thought life led to dabbling in sin, just sticking my hands in the water, then my feet, and before long I was sinking beneath the surface and no longer hearing that still, small voice inside.  I had not dealt with sin before it started, and as I let it in, it took over.  My fault.

David didn’t do what he did over night, it went on for a long time.  It wasn’t until after a child had been born as a result of his sin, a year after the murder of Uriah, who’s wife David had committed adultery with and had a child with, that his sin was revealed.  And while God did in fact forgive David and reconciled their relationship, there were consequences for that sin.  The child died and David’s house never was a place of peace again.  I have seen the consequences of my sins.  But I also know that as a child of God, daughter of the Most High, I’m forgiven when I repented of what I have done.  It was not easy to pull away from those ways either, I was pulled back to the edge of the pool many times to wad in the waters before pulling myself out again.

I’ve lost much that I believe came as a direct result.  While I was not wealthy by any stretch, I did have a pretty nice life with a good husband, a home, pool, hot tub, nice cars etc.  But sin broke down the foundation of the marriage, both mine and his sins, and over time I took things even further.  While I had his blessing to go down that road, and even his support, it was wrong.  I knew it and yet I went there willingly.  It was even my own idea.  Perhaps that is why I am now without  those things I held dear to me.  In this lifetime I will likely never have that answer.  But I do know that as  I have examined my life up until now, I know what I must do and where I must turn.

I have my issues with where I had been in a church family.  But sound  doctrine is more important than feel good music and gospels, or being liked for that matter.   Watering down the Word of God may win over ‘friends’, but it won’t convict the sinner to repent.  So that is why I will go where I once was, I need solid teaching as I progress through this walk and yield to God’s will for me.

A Prayer of Repentance

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

51 Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.

For I acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin is always before me.
Against You, You only, have I sinned,
And done this evil in Your sight—
That You may be found just when You speak,[a]
And blameless when You judge.

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me hear joy and gladness,
That the bones You have broken may rejoice.
Hide Your face from my sins,
And blot out all my iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners shall be converted to You.

14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
The God of my salvation,
And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;
You do not delight in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise.

18 Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion;
Build the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness,
With burnt offering and whole burnt offering;
Then they shall offer bulls on Your altar.