Pristine Grace

by Eileen Beckett

     There are many fruitful endeavors in this life, two of them are to know God and to know ourselves, both ongoing all the days of our lives. And so I examine and to arrive at any good conclusions I have to examine through the Word and the principles that lie within it.

     All of my life I have had a deep desire and longing to belong and I never have. Growing up I wanted to belong at school, I didn’t. In my rebellious years, I wanted to belong in the crowd, I didn’t. I sure tried and paid some consequences for that, but I didn’t belong. Throughout my life, whatever stage I was at, I wanted to belong, I never did! You can strive as hard as you want, you can desire as deeply as you want, it can appear to others that judge by the outward appearance that you do belong, but inside, in the heart, I never did. And so I've had to examine why I wanted to belong so desperately. The desire in and of itself is not sinful, God created us to belong, but as with all things we can go to extremes on either end of the spectrum.

     My mom called me a ‘follower’, some use the terminology ‘people pleaser’ but the Word calls that mindset being an idolater. And that is a sin! Calvin has been quoted as saying the human heart is an idol factory and I found that to be true in my life. The biggest idol in my heart was, of course, myself........ for the insidous fact of a people pleaser is 'how their pleasing others satisifies their own felt need'. My mom was a huge idol for I thought, you see, that is was she who had protected me from so much and I clung to her like no other. There were many idols going forward, many people to trust, many places to trust. It wasn’t until the Lord regenerated me, taught me through many years of testings and trials through His chastening Hand, granted me repentance and gave me a measure of wisdom and understanding that I came to know what an abomination it is to set up an idol, any idol. We can make an idol out of the most wonderful gifts….our families, our church, our jobs, our homes. Our hearts are truly idol factories.

     1 John 5:21 "Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen"

     I can truly rejoice and be thankful that the Lord never gave me the peace I always sought in wanting to belong in this world. Now I can make my deepest desires known to God “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus". I belong to Him!

     “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”