I spent hours on the downstairs bathroom, with a sheetrock mud palette in my left hand and a trowel in the other. I hadn’t taped and mudded before, but it didn’t seem too complicated. When I was nearly finished with the huge job, a friend stopped by and followed me downstairs to see my project.
He looked. He stood quietly.
“Wow, you should have asked me to help you,” he said.
Sooooo … I didn’t quit my day job to go into the drywall business.
I guess the more knowledge and experience you have regarding something, the more in tune you are with the fine details and more apt you are to see the mistakes. That doesn’t really match the philosophy I borrowed from my friend, which is, “Does it look good to a man riding by on a horse?”
Now listen to my latest C.S. Lewis quote, from Mere Christianity (speaking of horses, do you feel dragged along behind this latest book I’m devouring?):
When a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him … You can see mistakes in arithmetic when your mind is working properly: while you are making them you cannot see them.
I cannot tell you how badly I wish someone had taught me this concept a few decades ago. Truly, I thought that I was becoming a more horrible person every day. Hopelessness and despair started to be my companions in the wee hours of the night.
I was such a sinful woman.
It never occurred to me, as I was growing in my relationship with the Lord, studying His Word and memorizing Bible verses, that my new knowledge was going to open my eyes to even finer details of sinfulness tucked away in my own heart. It was a healthy thought pattern, this growing awareness of cracks in my purity that needed to be smoothed over with mud and a trowel, by a steadier hand than mine.
Jesus tells us God’s number one commandment:
… love the Lord your God with all your … mind (Matt. 22:37, MEV).
The more we love God with our minds, the more informed, thoughtful and meticulous we become.
More like experts in the skill of holiness.
So are you walking with God and seeing your shortcomings painfully clearly? Good. You’re moving in close to the Lord, and He’s pinpointing sinful areas of your life, so you can prepare for Him to perform the finish work needed in your heart.
Don’t worry. He’s a professional.