Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Joy Challenge - Day 27 - Confess/Repent

I am a good confessor. I don't find it difficult to admit my failings and failures. The definition of confess is: "to tell or make known (as something wrong or damaging to oneself); to acknowledge (sin) to God..." I can do that.

It is that other word that I seem to struggle with - repent. That definition is: "to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one's life." I find that infinitely more difficult.

It isn't the "big sins" where I find repentance, true repentance, a struggle. It is those "little" besetting sins that send me spiraling downward. If I had a nickle for every Monday I have declared with great conviction, "No more gluttony. I start a healthy, balanced diet today." I would have a healthy bank account. Sometimes it even lasts for weeks or months, but inevitably I cycle back into bad eating habits.

Self-control is the big one for me. It shows itself most often in the way I use my time. Oh how I struggle with this one. It has been a life-long one. These days it most often takes the form of too much time on the computer. As a matter of fact, I could have looked back into my archives and just copied and pasted this post from any of several I've written exactly like it over the past three years I've been blogging.

Over and over again I've promised the Lord that I would use my time more wisely. As with the diet, it lasts for a period of time, and then I am right back where I started. Not the Lord's idea of true repentance. I am so thankful for His patience and forgiveness.

I am spending far too much time reading posts and commenting. I look through my bloglines and try to trim it down to a more reasonable size - and I cannot bring myself to do it. In fact, I keep adding as I meet new people who fast become new friends. Add to that the newest perk I've incorporated - Facebook - and I can quite literally spend hours on the computer. Just the other day I had so many things to do, but I let myself stop for "just a minute" to check email. An hour later I was still in front of the screen. The rest of the day I scrambled trying to catch up and do all the things I needed to do - even having to rush through my Bible Study to get it done on time. I felt guilty and discouraged.

The new lap top has made it even more convenient to spend time on-line. I can sit on the couch in front of the tv and read and write for a long time. The books sit unopened on the coffee table, the knitting project languishes, the piano sits silent. It is more than time for true repentance.

So....I will be spending less time on the computer. One of my other weaknesses is the need for approval (that one isn't quite as easy to confess) - and I worry about hurting someone's feelings if I don't comment on their blog. That's what makes it hard for me to cut back. It's silly really, because I know very well no one gets offended, and I know I have to do this. So forgive me if I don't comment as often or visit every day.

It is an amazing thing that when you do the thing you think will be so hard, it suddenly doesn't seem so bad at all. Guess what - there is JOY!!

I know it won't be easy for me. I am trusting that where I am weak, He is strong. I want to use my time, a very precious commodity, in the way He leads.


picture:flickr lil_latina5's photostream


  1. Linda...your honesty here is so beautiful. I completely understand what you are saying, and I will be praying that you will find the right balance for you. I think this is something many of us struggle with...I know I do.

    Thank you for listening to His voice in this and responding in such a good way. What an example you are, my friend!

    Much love and joy as you continue down this path He is walking with you.

  2. I truly believe we are sisters - we have so much in common. I could have written this - except I haven't been repenting much - I spend way too much time on the computer, and have been eating way too much lately. I keep envisioning how I want to look, used to look, need to look and feel - I need your prayer!

    I miss you when you don't make it over, but I don't want you to be disobedient!

  3. I now check 3 to 5 of my blogging sisters' posts a day instead of everyone on my list. Cutting down on my FB time as well. (I can waste lots of time on FB playing a game w/ my godsons.) I cannot believe it's Oct. 1 tomorrow, seems like we were just picking a new Siesta verse..thank you for this beautiful post.

  4. Amen to that.
    It is such a trap sometimes. I sooo worry about the young Moms that have elaborate blogs that take a lot of work... not to mention facebook and cell phones Yikes.
    Can't say just them and not me...I have a problem too. I do stay away a lot more than I use to because the hubby told me once that he felt like a widower. Scary. We need to hear that. I really stop and talk and watch TV with him.

  5. ((( Linda )))

    you are a woman of great intention to be obedient to God. you inspire in your humility.

    i noticed that you visited today but did not comment. bravo! and if you read in my sidebar, i speak to the contentment i have in the thought-filled silence of those who visit me at Selah. it is my prayer that God would do most of the commenting there.

    i rarely visit more than a small, small handful of blogs on a daily basis. i have a FB account which has collected dust over the course of several weeks.

    i sense that God is nudging His followers more and more to attend to those things He has for them beyond cyberspace. this excites me to no end!

    i celebrate your decisions here and smile to think of the good fruit that is in store.

    how i send my love to you ...

  6. Linda, I could have written this same post exactly. This is an ongoing struggle for me too and I am trying very hard not to let the computer control but that I control it and the times that I do whatever on it. There are times when I now go days without visiting blogs, but I know it's fine and people will be happy for a visit whenever it is. I don't feel the need to post every day. This is an ongoing problem for us all, I think. I think it's a good thing for folks who are lonely, etc. Well, you just post and comment when the Lord allows and no one will think any less of you! Visit when you can, and I'll do the same!