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Filthy Rags

by Sis. Stephanie Hauri

He must increase; but I must decrease.

John 3:30

Being raised in church and 'cutting my teeth on the backs of the church pew’ gave me a wonderful heritage to pass down to my children. Yet, I found myself going by the ‘rules’ before I felt the convicting whisper of God on several standards. That was not a bad thing, and for me, it turned out to be a safety around me. However, there came a day that I was faced with why I believe what I believe, NOT what my church or my parents believe. And... my personal experience with Jesus became my most valued possession. When I went to prayer to establish my own relationship, what I found in a Savior was sweeter than I ever imagined.

I fell in love with Jesus and with holiness living and found God’s word to stand true on everything my parents and the Godly people in my life had lead me to believe.

Why is it that so many times, when faced with this crossroad of finding an experience with Jesus for ourselves, we lose young people? We lose young adults? If we are honestly seeking God, then, there’s no way we would walk away. Looking in the mirror of an honest prayer life can reveal a nasty thing called self righteousness. Charles Spurgeon said "The greatest enemy of human souls is the self-righteous spirit, it makes men look to themselves for salvation."

Self-righteousness is ugly and turns people away from God, but humbleness in a Holy life is captivating to the sinner.

It is an opportunity for Jesus to shine through us. The sinner can not see Jesus through self righteousness. It should never be that we think of ourselves so highly that we become unkind or hateful. Our focus should not be on the wrong doings of others. Our love for this world should increase! This reminds me of a personal experience and lesson in knowing the difference.

I was asked to meet with my girls bio- mom when she was considering surrendering her rights as a parent. I was terrified and did not know what to say. Over the course of these years working with this mom and our girls, I realized something about myself. I thought I was better than her. I did not do drugs, I was a decent Mom, I was not HER! It rocked me- how could I be such a horrible person? I saw how awful her life had been, how unfair and how adhering to the life style around her, was survival. You either do as those around you are doing or face the consequences. Which would have meant, being alone, homeless, arrested, in detox, and jobless. How do you pick yourself up from that place? She had made wrong choices. I have made wrong choices before... then it hit me, ‘If not for the Grace of God, I would be sitting where she is today.’ God changed my heart through this. My view of God’s grace towards this world changed that day. I felt like I was seeing an opportunity for true salvation for the very first time. As I went to the meeting and talked with this mom, she told me more about her story. The Lord compelled me to tell her about God’s love for her. Until I saw my own self righteousness, I couldn’t truly see her or look in her eyes and feel God’s compassion for her.

And such were some of you; but ye are washed: ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

1 Corinthians 6:11

God’s will in our lives can not be fulfilled until we realize just how insufficient we are without Him. Why are our socks knocked off sometimes when the quiet, withdrawn young man mounts a pulpit and roars with God’s anointing and a message for our churches? Why are we surprised that God has taken the small to do the mighty? This occurs because God has found someone who did not want to see themselves or bask in their own self righteousness but rather someone who truly found joy in drowning out to God’s glory.

As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one.

Romans 3:10

God, keep us humble and help us to be willing to search ourselves to be used of God fully!

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