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Topic: Breaking the Rules (08/16/04)
TITLE: Miss Goody Two Shoes
By Donna Haug
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In my fourth year of Bible College, my roommate and I were sitting in our living room one day talking about our College years. It would soon be over, and we had just realized that neither of us had gotten a deportment, a punishment for breaking school rules, in all the four years! She was just as much of a goody two shoes as I was or more. We laughed at ourselves for our adventuresome spirits.
Suddenly, an evil, rebellious spirit overtook us as we sat so innocently in our off-campus living room. It was after 11 p.m. and all students were to be in their dorms. We looked at each other with a wicked little gleam in our eyes. It didn’t matter that we were off-campus and technically those rules did not apply to us. We called our third roommate and explained our predicament. “We’ve got to do something!”
Five minutes later a chilly breeze blew through the coats of three college seniors who had just bravely snuck out of their own apartment. In the ten minutes it took us to walk to the coffee shop, we shivered and laughed at ourselves for our foolishness! Sitting in the smoky store and huddling over our steaming cups of coffee we reminisced over the past years. We dreamed about our futures and wondered where God would lead us from there. What a sweet and entirely silly memory.
We thought of ourselves as being pretty good, but in actuality we were only comparing ourselves to the students around us. What we were really saying was that we had not been caught doing anything wrong. If our Resident Assistants had had the all-seeing eyes of our God, or the all-knowing insight into our lives, we would definitely not have fared very well.
You see, I couldn’t get a school deportment for loosing my temper and saying cruel things to a friend. When I went for weeks barely taking time to open my Bible for my own personal reading or even saying more than a quick prayer at the end of my day, nobody knew.
Except for God. He knew.
He knew how weak I was getting in my spirit. Knowing my weaknesses, He could see so clearly the traps the enemy of my soul was setting for me. I walked blindly ahead, nonchalantly strolling along thinking everything was fine. Meanwhile I was only deceiving myself into believing that the little pet sins that no one else knew about were not really such big deals. The longer they were allowed to continue in my life, the deeper their roots went and the more entangled I became.
I had to stop comparing myself to those around me and rather compare myself to the holy standard my God had set for me. When measured against that standard, I suddenly realized how sinful my heart was. I needed God to forgive me. Yes, even from those so called “little things” I needed to repent.
In retrospect I stand amazed at how God protected me through those years and sheltered me from so much. I had no idea at the time how weak I was. I had rationalized everything out. But God knew. As I reminisce over the fuzzy fog of a 15 year old memory, I sense the Holy Sprit searching my heart. What pet sin am I holding on to today? What am I trying to justify or rationalize in my mind, when in reality I know all too well that I am not measuring up - not when it comes to God’s standards?
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” Ps. 139:23-24