Monday, August 1, 2011

'If Momma Ain't Happy'

I am slowly rereading a book I first encountered about a decade ago. At that time, my dear friend, Sheila, recommended the Christian classic to me. Holiness is a weighty book that isn't a quick read, but the meaty content is worth the effort.

The book's full title is: Holiness: Its Nature, Difficulties, Hindrances, and Roots. It was written by J.C. Ryle in the late 1880s. As I'm working my way through the chapter called "Holiness", I have been quite challenged by much of what I've read. However, nothing has touch my heart like the quote below. How glorious my Saviour is! How little I am like Him, even after being one of His followers for 35 years!

I can easily recognize how my living like Jesus in the way that Ryle so articualately describes would make such a difference in the "temperature" of our home. While its a somewhat crass saying, it is certainly true that, "If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." The joy I wish to exude in my home and shower on my husband and children can only come from my saying, "No," to me and "Yes" to living humbly and selflessly for the sake of others. I pray the Lord will work the holiness Jesus exemplified into my very soul. I pray He will conform me into the image of His son. Then Momma will be happy more of the time and so will everyone else who lives under the same roof with me.

Ryle writes:
"A holy man will strive to be like our Lord Jesus Christ. He will not only live the life of faith in Him, and draw from Him all his daily peace and strength, but he will also labour to have the mind that was in Him, and to be conformed to His image (Rom. 8:29).

"It will be his aim to bear with and forgive others, even as Christ forgave us; to be unselfish, even as Christ pleased not Himself; to walk in love, even as Christ loved us; to be lowly-minded and humble, even as Christ made Himself of no reputation and humbled Himself.

"He will remember that Christ was a faithful witness for the truth; that He came not to do His own will; that it was His meat and drink to do His Father's will; that He would continually deny Himself in order to minister to others; that He was meek and patient under undeserved insults; that He thought more of godly poor men than of kings; that He was full of love and compassion to sinners; that He was bold and uncompromising in denouncing sin; that He sought not the praise of men, when He might have had it; that He went about doing good; that He was separate from worldly people; that He continued instant in prayer; that He would not let even His nearest relations stand in His way when God's work was to be done.

"These things a holy man will try to remember. By them he will endeavour to shape his course in life. He will lay to heart the saying of John: 'He that saith He abideth in [Christ] ought himself so to walk, even as He walked' (1 John 2:6)..."

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