Monday, November 14, 2011

Conviction ... two Sundays in a row

Photo by Mikaela Dunn

Conviction. It's a powerful thing. Have you been convicted about anything recently? Last week, I was convicted about something during a sermon by a guest preacher at our church. While he didn't present this challenge, through what he said, I challenged myself to do something that, for many of you, would be no big deal. For others, the thought is appalling. I'm in the latter group. I decided last Sunday to go somewhere in that upcoming week sans makeup. (Like I said, no big deal for some of you).

Now, you have to keep in mind that I am the type that is hard pressed to go to the mailbox at the end of my walk without putting on my makeup and doing my hair first! Of course, I'm not talking Tammy Faye Baker kind of makeup, but at least some foundation and mascara. I mean, what if a neighbor came out at the same time and wanted to chat? Gasp. I don't even like it if my kids stop by, much less my sons-in-law, and I'm au naturale. Seriously. But that's where the conviction came in. Perhaps I care too much about something that is relatively insignificant.

On Saturday night, I had to go out. I'd worked hard for most of the day and then relaxed and read in a hot bath. My granddaughter was coming over for the night and I needed some things at the store. Being that it was already Saturday and I hadn't fulfilled my challenge, I swallowed hard, grabbed my car keys, and headed out without makeup and with my hair looking rather, shall we say, messy -- after all, I was lounging in a hot, sweaty bath for over an hour! I even wore my slippers. I looked like one of those women who I might have derogatory things to say about ... at least in the past.

To complicate my brave adventure, I didn't discover, until I checked out at the store, that I'd left my wallet on my desk at home! That is normally an embarrassing enough situation, but with the way I looked, it was also a bit horrifying! I had to leave the store, drive back home, get my wallet, and go through the whole experience once again (with being able to pay for my purchases being the highlight on this trip). Fortunately, for me, I didn't run into anyone I knew. Phew!

I actually felt pretty good about myself for following through with the self-imposed challenge.

Yesterday didn't pass without a conviction, either. This time, from a Facebook 'conversation' with someone. When questioning her fondness of a celebrity I find completely vulgar, she in turn reminded me of my own questionable taste for a show many of you would see the same way. Ouch. Conviction hurts sometimes. I challenged her with the verse from Philippians: Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. And she threw it right back at me. Bravo! Brought to mind another verse, this time from the Gospel of Matthew: And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Double ouch.

I'm taping the first verse to my television. Too bad I can't find a way to tape the second one on the inside of my glasses and still have vision!

The moral of the last two Sundays? Humility. It's always good for the soul to be knocked down a notch or two. Thanks, Ed and Maggie. I needed that!

Sharing my Sabbath experience,



  1. I have been convicted of late to give more. My family already gives generously to our church and we support some children overseas through Compassion, but I've felt like I need to make a personal sacrifice. It's easy to give out of the family budget, but not so easy to give out of my own monthly "blow money". So I took the money I had set aside for a pair of boots (which I have wanted for about a year now) and gave that to someone that needed it more than I.

    I'm continuing to look for ways to help people around me who are in need, while at the same time not trying to be a monk and do away with *all* worldly pleasures. ;-) I think it helps me maintain perspective when I realize how blessed I am and how little others have.

    "If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." 1 John 3:17-18

    (A regular reader, but Mat 6:1-4 compels me to post anonymously today.)

  2. Thank you, 'Anonymous,' for sharing your own convictions. May we all spur one another on to greater works.


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