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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Self-reflection

As some of you may know, I was raised by strict Roman Catholic grandparents and zealous Baptist parents (more like mother actually). So I like praying a lot and I do enjoy reading my Bible except when I come across verses that shatter my marrow and pierce my heart. Like this one:

"For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." 2 Timothy 3:2-5.

Oh, that sounds like a description of me. Well, not all of it (I'm a very grateful person, and loving and generous, a believer of the good in man, and extremely loyal and faithful), but there's enough there to make me bristle.

Of all the faults, the one that stabs me most is the "truce breakers". I made a vow once to God--I wouldn't have a boyfriend for two years--which I broke eight months in. I know it sounds so silly and it does seem like a stupid promise made by an empty-headed girl; but I was young and heartbroken and in my distress, I dropped down on my knees and offered the next two years of my life in God's exclusive service. I was okay in the beginning but love--my one weakness--found me once more and I succumbed.

My broken vow still plagues me to this day because of these verses:

"When you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not delay to pay it, for it would be sin in you, and the Lord your God will surely require it of you." Deuteronomy 23:21

"It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay." Ecclesiastes 5:5


I'm a good promise-keeper but that one I couldn't keep, and I ask God to forgive me. All the time. I know God forgives but sometimes I wonder if in His forgiveness, He spares you from the consequences. I don't really think so.

That's one of the reasons I delayed marriage actually. Marriage is one huge promise made with your spouse, before society and government, and to God Himself. Because in my mind I hadn't kept a simple vow a few years ago, I was afraid that I may not be able to keep my marriage vows, and I was tormented by this fear. I wonder if that was God's punishment for me. I hope it was because Vince and I suffered enough over my indecision. But if that wasn't God's requirement, then I shudder in my skin fearing what it is.

4 comments:

  1. Wow! Neighbor, this is such a serious post. The priest at St. Agnes Parish always gives insightful and entertaining homilies and last Sunday he said, "We are all sinners in the process of conversion; and we are all sinners in a state of forgiveness," which I found absolutely amazing because it just shows how infinite and non-limiting God's grace is. And as for punishment, one of my favorite aunts told me a couple of years back (while ridden with guilt for breaking my ex-boyfriend's heart) that God is not a punishing God :) To that I say 'Whew!'. Plus, I don't think He's cruel at all so don't be scared :)

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  2. I've always believed that ours is a merciful God who wants us to be happy. He's not out to get us! Or at least, I don't think He is...

    Mariel, I love that quote.:)

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  3. Thanks, ladies, you're really sweet.

    I do believe that God is merciful and loving and full of grace. But He is also just. That is why He created Hell.

    I'm sure that my silly broken vow pales in comparison to those who've done murder and adultery and such. And yes, God forgives... In fact, I know He's forgiven me already, when I asked His forgiveness almost ten years ago.

    It's more on I haven't forgiven me! I think I've punished myself enough already...

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  4. http://en.allexperts.com/q/Christianity-Christian-Living-1401/Broken-Vows.htm

    After I read this, I felt so much better. =)

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