Earlier this week, I posted about what God was teaching me through the position of the toilet seat in our master bath. (If you missed it, here’s the link: Tattling On Him.)
This morning, as I read the devotion in “New Morning Mercies” by Paul David Tripp, I saw exactly the role of sin and the influence of God’s grace in my “little lesson.”
Frankly put, my sin and my sinful nature are the reasons why the placement of the toilet seat has been such a point of contention for me. It is my selfishness and self-entitlement that believes I deserve better. It is my pride that says, “He should be the one to put it down.” My sinful nature ensures that my first reaction is always demanding and defensive. My sin is critical. My sin is accusing. My sin gives my marriage plenty of pitfalls to fall in and a multitude of obstacles to overcome.
Then my husband, Wally has his own sin that he brings into our relationship. Neither of us is innocent. Both of us have plenty of blame to share. Sin, our own and from living in a fallen world, is the origin of all our relational discord – with each other and in every other relationship in our lives.
The Bible says it this way: “What causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war with you?” (James 4:1) Those passions, or sides, that are “at war” within believers are our old, sinful nature versus the work of the Holy Spirit within us. The Spirit is making us new, recreating us to be like Christ while our old ways are still evident with what comes naturally to us.
All of us who are believers know the reality of this struggle with all the frustrations that come with it. Ah, BUT GOD doesn’t leave us to fight this war alone.
Skipping down a few verses we read, “But he gives more grace.” (James 4:6a, emphasis mine). I love it when Bible verses start with the word “but.” Most of the time that word is followed by good news for believers.
For me, this whole Toilet Seat Lesson has shown how God has given me “more grace” in a multitude of ways. It was His grace that allowed me to see the seat position from another perspective. It is His grace that is transforming how I react to finding it once again in the up position. It is His grace that will allow me tomorrow to simply shake my head and smile when it has been, once again, left up.
The grace He provides is definitely “more” than my sinful nature. His grace tips the scale in favor of restoration and reconciliation. His grace is greater than the consequences deservedly earned, enabling me to face them with assurance. This “more grace” promise is the hope that has been made real through Christ.
Again, by grace, Christ is the central part, the crucial component, the necessary glue within our marriage. By grace through faith, when I accepted Jesus as my savior, I gave Him the rightful authority to be in control of all my relationships, especially my marriage. I gave up any sinful right to be right, to be served, to be the purpose in how I interact with everyone God has placed in my life.
This is how the gospel meets me in the bathroom. This is how the gospel fuels my marriage. This is how the the gospel is applied in real life.
The word “gospel” means “good news.” The good news for my relationships is that there is “more grace” to battle the sinful passions that are at war within me.
God’s grace was evident in my marriage this week as the Holy Spirit intervened in the war waging against my sinful passions. Tomorrow, as I gather with the Church to worship, I will praise the One who has given me victory. By His “more grace,” together, He and I have won the Battle of the Toilet Seat!
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