Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: LUST (all-consuming desire; excessive craving) (01/08/15)
- TITLE: Careful What You Fish For - You might catch it
By Judith Gayle Smith
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Lust overpowers our senses, our responses to what God wants. His Ten Commandments are swallowed up by the smallest fish on His List - to not covet. Coveting leads to disobeying parents, stealing, murder, adultery and most grievous - abandoning God for what we desire above Him.
Lust takes myriad forms. Eagerness and earnestness forces complicity. For example, a homeless gal we took in as a boarder in exchange for cooking and cleaning - not charging money - is power mad, hearing us but refusing to listen to us.
She dreams of becoming a licensed caregiver or chef. She is eager to practice on us - without our input on her abilities.
For example, she refuses to fill one sink with hot sudsy water, and the other with hot clear rinse water. She takes expensive highly concentrated dish liquid and applies a squeeze to a sponge, individually washing and then rinsing each item obsessively. She insists we need a dishwasher. She requires special lotions, products and gloves for her dry skin. Top brand cleaning supplies are major purchases. She does laundry in very small loads with far too much soap and hot water, ignoring my instructions.
I am lusting in my complaining. I am grateful to have her help with cooking and light cleaning, but we cannot afford her self-described housekeeper attitude. She bosses us all unmercifully, telling us she is "super mega-busy" when we need her. Our electric, water and garbage bills have skyrocketed.
My husband advised against having a boarder, but she was desperate for a home and I was desperate for some help taking care of my bedbound husband and my live-in sister who is a blessing, but worn out from obeying our boarder's loud demands - couched as requests - thinly veiled.
We are in our third year together, and my nerves are shot. My husband wishes to relieve her of her duties - and her room and board. My sympathies are jangled, wondering how much money would we save, and how could we possibly toss her out in the cold of winter? She has lots of friends - not a one will take her into their homes.
My lust for doing my Christian duty is severely overwhelmed by my need - not lust - to keep a roof over our own heads and food on our table. I know that YHWH provides, but are we abusing the privilege? The electric, water, food bills are drowning us. We try sharing with our gal that we are not rich Americans, to the extent that I am willing to sit her down yet again with our budget and show her what our bills are, and why we cannot afford to buy extras we cannot afford.
Loud, vociferous and presumptuous arrogance are luxuries we can ill afford, and her defiant lust for power has made a veritable bully out her, who excuses herself as "everyone has their personality." Yelling, crying and genuine misery follow our lack of reaching out to our Lord for enduring this madness. She yells, I yell, my husband yells and my sister weeps.
I tremble with dire anticipation of her "mega-lists" of foodstuffs and supplies.
I love her through Jesus, and pray daily for the grace He gives me to "love my sister as myself." My pleas for wise steward economic sanctions fall on deaf ears, and yet, who is actually responsible for this insanity? Me.
When I brought our boarder on board, I truly saw a mutual need being met. I was stupefied by my inabilities when we were bringing my husband home from physical rehabilitation following major lung surgery. I, exhausted emotionally, mentally and physically with what I then imagined a dying husband, a childlike sister and my own finiteness dealing with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue - failed to perceive my lack of faith in our precious Lord, and veritably lusted for what appeared to be a miraculous solution.
Of course, I gave all credit to Jesus for the multiple needs being fulfilled.
But, as my increasingly becoming impatient husband explains, I didn't think about the consequences of such major actions. I taught our lusting boarder to buy fish - not to learn how to fish.
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