“But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” (Luke 22:32)
That’s how it starts. We know we’re guilty, this ambiguous, if vacuous stain tells on our conscience and we try throughout our life to erase it. Thank God you have a conscience, by the way. Supposing one doesn’t, doesn’t mean the Lord can’t break through. Just a little extra prayer, patience, petition would be needed, I suppose. I, for one, am grateful the Lord used my Dad to, sort of, uh, munificently hold me back even as I grew older–to ensure I knew how to feel correctly. But then I met Jesus for myself and as time went on, He allowed me to understand how He stood in my place. How He made it possible for me to stand before God, not in my own righteousness but in His.
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.” (Proverbs 4:23-24)
But it doesn’t mean the struggles weren’t over or they weren’t still there. I suppose, citing the latter verse in the above passage, a main issue the Lord worked me through was that of making sure the words I spoke resonated with the new life within. Just because we have a new birth in Christ Jesus doesn’t mean we still won’t deal with Satan or any of his attendants or thoughts or what-have-you. As a Christian, though, the missives, or “fiery darts” as Paul put it (Ephesians 6:16), were now aimed at the downside to my temperament. I would receive no help from the other side, so to speak, as I had sought to align my conscience and now my words, with Christ. Being a writer is the natural outworking of a gift (from God) designed to traffic in words so as to elucidate things invisible–both in me and in God. It’s just how it is.
“Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.” (Psalm 50:2)
Again, the battle’s not over. Just because I received a piece of myself, wrought irreducible through the fires of hell and torment and depression, doesn’t mean I just ignore “the Lord that bought [me]” (2 Peter 2:1). If I lay down and accept the beauty of my present to the neglect of “the beauty of the Lord” (Psalm 27:4), it will while away (see Psalm 39:11) and I’ll be left high and dry. Things won’t work. This is why we all have our respective “thorns in the flesh”. But any fear as to the turning-around-and-using-against-me the things for which Christ died and left in the grave is now gone. I have an obligation to do as the tippy-top prescribes. To use what the Lord has given me to in turn bless others.