So unprepared was I for what happened last week that I was completely blindsided by the Law and it's accusations against me. I thought I was preparing a simple gospel lesson and devotion for children. You can read the devotion in the blog post here. It snowballed into what seemed a ceaseless rail of accusations that swept others into the overwhelming speed of my own sinful avalanche.
Upon reviewing my devotion for the kids with my co-worker in the Lord, she told me that children should not be told that Jesus died for their sin, that it was too scary of a concept for them. I ignored that advice and went ahead with the lesson I had developed. I was interrupted several times during my devotion, and given a look of surprise that I had gone ahead with the lesson as planned. I left feeling confused, as if I had done the wrong thing.
Then while talking to some friends after this experience, which they were unaware of, I misinterpreted some things that were said. I thought they were suggesting we end our friendship. Feelings of rejection and being in middle school again were resurfacing. Amazing how long those hurts stay with us from when we were not yet teens. Then in an attempt to encourage that rejection I said some very unkind things. Thankfully, two of the friends responded quizzically with, "Julie, this isn't like you. What is going on?" One brother in the Lord helped me to see what had happened.
To my wounded friends, I am so sorry. Forgive me.
Being new to understanding God's word in terms of Law and Gospel, this was my first awareness of a spiritual attack. My conscience and sins were being thrown before me. I needed to run to Jesus for refuge. In my confusion, I came out swinging with deadly words. My faith was on trial and I did not know what to do about it. I had forgotten to remind myself of the Gospel; that Jesus paid for all my sin, past, present, and future.
By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. ~ 1 John 3:19-23
Since this incident, I have talked to my co-laborer with the children and we talked about what happened that afternoon. We know one another better now. I will continue to tell children that Jesus loves them and died for them, because it is true.