No one wants to admit the ugly times in their life. We’re caught up in this system of saving face, trying to look good, and attempting to hide the stench that rises from our sinful hearts. Well I’m fed up with acting like I don’t screw up. I do. A lot. And let me tell you, today my heart stunk. I had altogether had it with a certain little girl who is busy flexing her two-year-old independence muscles. Nothing I give her to eat is appetizing. Okay that’s not entirely true, because I know if I were to give her free reign on the chocolate bars she would not complain. Anyway, she decided she didn’t want to eat her lunch (again) and I decided that was not okay.

There is definitely a way that a mother can be firm with a child, in a way that is not sinful. I did not choose any such path. I was impatient, unkind, ungracious, loud, and completely mean. I’m not telling you this to make you feel good about yourself if you didn’t have a bad day. I’m not telling you this to make you feel okay about it if you had a day similar to mine. I’m telling you this because we all suck at being good. And if you think you’re pretty good at being good, you prove your pride, which isn’t good. Gotcha.

After ‘the episode’, I was appalled at myself.
“Where did that come from?” I wondered. “That’s not who I am.”
And then the light turns on and I realize afresh: that is exactly who I am.
The lyrics of a Needtobreathe song came to mind, and cycled on repeat for the rest of the day,
“It’s clear enough to me,
the ugliness I see
Is evidence of who I need.”

Apart from Jesus Christ, apart from the redeeming work of the Holy Spirit in my life, who I am is absolutely appalling. The Bible is pretty clear about that.

As it is written:
“None is righteous, no, not one;
no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.” (Romans 3:10-12)

But God.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved. (Ephesians 2:4-5)

I am so thankful for the grace of God, for the forgiveness of sins, for the cleansing from all unrighteousness. Because of Jesus I can repent and move on, and I pray that his grace continues to melt my heart so that I can share through my life a more accurate picture of my God to my children.

3 Responses to “The Ugliness I See”

  1. JM:

    “But God” – two of the most amazing, humbling, and uplifting words. Thanks for your reflection, Kim. It was a needed reminder.

  2. Amen! Thank you for that. Some days it just happens and it’s good to be reminded that we’re not alone.

  3. Angie:

    Amen, Kim! God is so glorified in all you do (and fail to do). I love you!

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