Wednesday, August 24, 2011

from glory to glory

But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.                     --2 Corinthians, 3:16-18

I read a devotion today from Dine with Me by Jana Spicka. It's about a woman with an alabaster jar of perfume, thought to be Mary Magdalene, who poured out all the perfume on Jesus. Really expensive perfume. It cost a year's wages. Think $30,000, $50,000. Not cheap. She poured this perfume all over Jesus in front of loads of people who thought she was trash. She was weeping, sobbing, in front of all of them. And she didn't care. She was there to pour out on Him, cry out to Him.

In her devotion, Jana talks about how she (Jana) was ardently praying about all the people the Lord had given her, about wanting to pour His love out on them, to be faithful, to take care of them-- she ended her prayer saying, "Lord I want to make a difference." What she heard in response stopped her in her tracks: "I want to make you different."


I had forgotten that glory starts with poverty, nakedness, desperation, confession. It starts with pouring out all you have on the Lord. It's so easy for me to allow guilt to drive me to that place of works, of striving. Of making things prettier than they are.

Yesterday I got together with Stephani to talk about money and budgets, to really hash through it. I can make a budget like a champ- the numbers look awesome on paper, and all the numbers work out. But I never do it. I never walk it out. And one thing I started to see yesterday is that I have a ton of guilt where money is concerned. And that guilt drives me to hide. And hiding with money drives me to do things with my money that are wrong. I misuse it, abuse it, overspend it, and spend it foolishly. And before any of this offensive behavior happens, I make a budget that covers over all the sin. But it doesn't work. Stephani looked at my online bank statement with me. We added up all the money I brought in and all the money I spent on food. It was thoroughly embarrassing. I know I can do good things with money; I've walked that way before. If I have something to save for, I can be really faithful with my money. But if I'm just living day to day, if I have nothing I'm pushing towards, or if I'm just lazy and out of shape with my money, bad things happen. There's something going on in my heart where money is concerned. I feel entitled to it. I want more of it. I want to do what I want with it. To write this, to know this is true about myself right now, disgusts me.

So today I was reminded that glory starts with poverty, nakedness, desperation, confession. Even some humiliation and disgust. And unveiling the ugliness is the first step on the road to glory. It's just so... ugly. 

Lord, please reveal all the lies that I believe about money, how I relate to money, and how I relate to You. I am desperate and helpless. 

No comments: