Today I’m committing to kill myself. I even have a plan. For those of you who don’t have a mental health background, that’s the first question you ask someone who claims to be suicidal. If they don’t have a plan, chances are they aren't serious. If, however, they have drafted a blueprint of how to accomplish the goal of self-annihilation, it’s time for crisis intervention.
Before you call 911 to send the mental health professionals to my house, no, I’m not really suicidal. But I am going to crush myself today. My plan involves bricks.Yes, I’m conspiring to obliterate my flesh with blocks of cement.
I’ve been wrestling with two issues. Do I have to call them sins? Both are self-control issues, and both involve my mouth. First, those delectable, sugary treats keep finding their way into my hands, then my lips, and eventually, they find a resting place on my expanding hips. Secondly, I’ve been a bit whiney lately, and I’m quite sure my family is weary of my gripping. So basically, it’s a mouth-war, what goes in and what comes out.
Why don’t you take a minute and ponder what you’re wrestling with. Can’t come up with anything? Shall I suggest pride as a good starting point? I’m convinced that we all have at least one issue, that irritating sin that we think we have conquered to only have it sprout roots, bust through the soil, and overnight turn into a mammoth oak.
What to do? Do we accept that no one is perfect and rationalize that that’s what grace is all about? While that would be easy, I’ve found that the right thing is rarely easy, so back to my bricks.
This morning I read Proverbs 25:28. “Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.” In ancient days, walls were built around the city to protect and fortify. When I let my mouth have its way, the wall begins to fall. My defenses are weakened. It doesn’t happen all at once. One cookie doesn’t hurt. A quiet grumble under my breath isn’t significant. Or is it?
What if every “little” lack of self-restraint pulls one brick out of my wall. One probably isn’t even noticeable. But take a few more out, and before long, I have a gapping hole. It’s like an open door inviting Satan right in. In fact, the Message translation reads, “A person without self-control is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out.”
Today I’m going to attempt to keep all my bricks in place. I’m feeling pretty confident so I may even try to replace the ones that I’ve knocked out. Rebuilding is always more rewarding than tearing down. Right? No one ever said crucifying the flesh would be easy, but I’m going to try, brick by brick.