Before you try to disagree with, let me just say that all you can see is the outside stuff I want you to see. I'm a nice guy, polite like my mom and Meme raised me, and I try to live up to that good ol' Golden Rule (when it's convenient, of course, but you don't see that). I try to be a good father and husband and employee and friend. But that's all the mask.
|Far less cool that this.|
Only, not that cool.
You see, beneath my mask, I'm not all that likeable, not really it seems like the guy I try to be.
And I won't go into the specifics here, because to be honest I still want you to like me. But let me tell you, if you could see the sick, selfish, icky stuff in my head, you'd keep your distance. Just being honest. I tell myself they're not things I'd ever act on, but they're there regardless, keeping vigil in my brain, tempting me just the same. There for the grace of God, as the saying goes.
I feel a little like Paul in that respect (then think, who am I to compare myself to that saint, even though Paul himself counts himself out of that list) when he writes in Romans 7:
I can anticipate the response that is coming: “I know that all God’s commands are spiritual, but I’m not. Isn’t this also your experience?” Yes. I’m full of myself—after all, I’ve spent a long time in sin’s prison. What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary. But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. (14-20, The Message)
It also makes me feel a bit like the Eagles sang when I stab it with my steely knives but I just can't kill the beast.
Inside I know I deserve to be strung up, hung out to dry, and left to rot, but outside I keep putting on that mask. (After all, they will know we are Christians by our gloves, right? So our hands don't actually get dirty.)
Luckily for a scab of a man like me, it's not my good and bad that is going against or for me. It's someone else's.
It's that grace thing again. That seems to pop up a lot here.