when I need an attitude check

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“If you mourn the fallenness of your world rather than curse its difficulties, you know that grace has visited you.”

(Paul Tripp)

Has a phrase ever helped you in an opposite sort of way from how the author originally meant it? Last month, some friends — who were mourning the brokenness of the world around them — shared this Paul Tripp quote, and it’s ended up being one of those kind of two-fold phrases for me:

  1. As God’s Spirit works in a Christian’s life we begin to more and more mourn for the hurt and pain of our broken world — as Jesus did — instead of defaulting to anger and irritation at the inconvenience caused us by the brokenness around us. God has used Tripp’s phrase to help me understand the sadness I feel when I see the thorns of this world. I think that’s how he (and my friends) meant the phrase to be read.
  2. But, God has also brought the phrase to mind in an opposite sort of way: when I sense I’m headed toward bitterness, stirred up with anger at my own current difficulties, I’m convicted by the phrase. For grace has visited me. The ugliness of my own self-absorption, and my default desire for “no thorns — flowers only!” does not honor my Lord.

When we’re just plain mad, irritated at the trials and complexities of life, our inner thoughts beginning to curse the difficulties of this world, we must fight to remember the grace poured out for us. When we realize that our desire for all things to line up perfectly stems from a demand that we’d only experience ease, we must question our selfish desire for comfort.

When we’re angry because we want to avoid all angst or unrest, we must fight to remember the grace we’ve experienced through Jesus Christ. We must call our attitude what it is: a pity party, a temper tantrum, a dishonoring of our Lord. As we call ourselves out, and pray for help, He does work within us, so that we might become those who mourn the fallenness of our world, rather than merely cursing its difficulties.

O Father, thank you that you don’t leave us as we are. You do use fiery trials, our own, and those we see all around us, to show us our need of you. Please, by your Spirit, work within us fruit that pleases you, that honors Jesus, that fears not to mourn, as He did, the fallenness of our world.

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About Jill

I'm a wife, mom to three beautiful children, and work as children's ministry director at Redeemer PCA in Athens, GA, a place our family treasures as our church home. It's been thirty years since the Lord saved me, and to this day I'm astounded at His steadfast love shed upon unfaithful me. My hope would be that I might speak and write in ways God would use to soften hearts toward Him, that we would together be enamored by the glorious beauty of Jesus and awakened to His love unimagined. Thanks so much for reading!
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