Instruments of Righteousness

Written in January 2009…

Over the past 2 months, my little boy has made an incredible discovery – his own two hands. They seem to provide endless hours of entertainment and “snacking.” As great as these new found body parts are, he hasn’t quite mastered controlling them appropriately. He loves pulling his pacifier out of his mouth and turning it around to chew on the other end, but he gets pretty frustrated when he can’t quite get it back in to suck on again. His little fingers have become better teething toys than money can buy…until he bites down too hard and the tears begin to flow. Though he really enjoys wrapping his hands around his bottle, those same hands bring on aggravated shrieks when they accidently push a much desired meal away. His newly discovered allies that find mommy and daddy’s noses and mouths turn into his own enemy when they poke his eyes or scratch his face. The very things that are meant to help him can at times actually harm him until he can learn to use them correctly.

As I watched my son in his love/hate relationship with his appendages one day, God brought Romans 6:13 to mind. In it, Paul warns us to “not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.” God again used my baby boy to teach me a lesson from His Word that can be applied to my own life. Just like Isaiah can use the parts of his body that God has blessed him with for good, using them inappropriately can not only bring frustration, but also pain and suffering, as well.

I had to ask myself if I was using the parts of my body as instruments of wickedness or of righteousness. God has been convicting me over the past few months that I need to get better control over my mind, which can easily and sometimes unknowingly lead me to sin. If I’m not careful, sins of pride, coveting, and most often, anxiousness can creep in. As if I wasn’t a big enough worrier before, having Isaiah quadrupled by anxiety! I constantly battle worry and pessimism. I realized that I was using the mind that God had given me to bring on unneeded stress and suffering. In order to get my armor on and fight, I went back to the familiar passage of Philippians 4:6-8, which says:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

As I start a new year, my mission has become making sure that I use my mind as an instrument of righteousness rather than wickedness. As part of my quest, I recently took out a sheet of paper and wrote out the things I’m anxious about, the petitions that stem from them that I need to present before God, alongside things that I can be thankful for, as well as things that I can think about to replace my anxious thoughts. Now when Satan tries to fill my mind with lies and fear, I’m striving to substitute them with Truth instead. It’s amazing how much more alive I feel!
What are your New Years’ Resolutions this year? Along with Isaiah and me, consider getting control over your own body parts! What parts of your body are you offering to sin? Do your eyes or ears consistently fall upon things that don’t glorify God? Are the words of your mouth pleasing to Him? Are your feet following your Father’s leading? What in your life is bringing death rather than life, sin rather than a life that pleases God? As moms, we have a tremendous responsibility of using our bodies as instruments of righteousness – little eyes are watching…and little hands are following!

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