I like resolution. It’s part of my personality, I like things finished, neat and tidy, wrapped up, closed. There’s something thrilling to me about finishing things, making decisions, and having things set. I know not everyone is like that. Lots of wonderful people (many of whom are closest to my heart) like to wait to see all the options, thrive on spontaneity, and are excited by the unknown. I think that’s great… for them. Actually, I enjoy the surprise too, sometimes, but my comfort zone is settled – unless I’m instigating the changes. 🙂
So, by nature, when I discover I’ve messed up, I like to fix it right away. When I’m caught up in sin, I want to “get over it” quickly. When I see others struggling with sin, I want a quick-fix and a ready move into righteousness. I tend to think of continuing to sin as laziness or procrastination – in myself as much as others. But that rapidly moves me into condemnation mode, which is contrary to all scripture teaches!
I tend to think in terms of something is either resolved or I should be embarrassed because it’s not resolved.
But what is embarrassment, but shame?
Several months ago I read a quote by Renee Swope. She said, “God’s conviction is specific and won’t condemn us for who we are, but focuses on something we’ve done. The Holy Spirit’s conviction always includes wisdom and instruction to lead us toward resolution, not shame.”
Resolution, not shame.
Leads us toward resolution… not Poof! magics us to resolution.
One of the quickest ways I am guilty of undermining grace in my life (or the lives of those I love) is to strive for hasty resolution, which may not be resolution at all, but temporary escape.
The Holy Spirit leads us toward resolution.
He gives us grace and time to learn his wisdom and to follow his instruction. He does not seek hasty resolution, but true heart change that is both genuine and sustainable.
When I try to rush things along, I shortchange myself. I might see an immediate external drive for better behavior, but I may never develop a heart that seeks His pleasure.
Whitewashed tomb, anyone?
I don’t want to be a whitewashed tomb, pretty on the outside and full of uncleanliness on the inside (Matthew 23:27. I want to be a vessel of honorable use, (2 Timothy 2:20-21).
I want God to lead me toward resolution of my sinful habits with wisdom and instruction. I want to have honorable habits which come from consistent, steady (without haste) practice at following his instruction and learning his wisdom. I want to turn my back on condemnation and shame, and face the grace of God full on. A grace that loves me as I am, but does not leave me there.
That’s a resolution about which I can truly be thrilled!