For a long time I have had difficulty bringing myself to read the Bible. During that time I was seeking after the "joy and peace and relationship and love" that is being taught so much today. Though it was warm and comforting at first, I feel a lot of it turned out to be little more than "warm fuzzies." Some people seem to be very happy in this new way (which they claim is really the original, Jesus way), but for some reason I have not been able to so easily fit in with it. In fact, it even seemed to me that a lot of non-Christian people seem as happy and content as Christians are supposed to be--and as I have not been.
Anyway, I started reading Psalms and Proverbs (and now Ecclesiastes) a month and a bit ago, and I think I was hoping for mostly comfort and a bit of joy. But I'd forgotten how human those books and their writers are. And the more I read, the more my heart pains me as I am reminded of the reality of my own sin and weakness which, yes, has been "taken care of" by Jesus--but which still exists so much in my life every day.
It seems I see more and more of my wretchedness. I can't escape the fact that sin is still so with us, still so within me. Even if I improve a bit in one area, I am sure to find within myself other actions and attitudes that have been there all the time, but which I just didn't recognize before.
I'm sure God is pointing these things out to me, and that it is part of the "refining process" and thus is good for me, and for our relationship with God. But what I am concerned about is that in our search for a "loving Daddy-child relationship" (which God wants, too) we may be forgetting that God also wants to go deeper into us and root out the evil in our lives. And we'd rather just simply ignore (and maybe even deny) that side of God's reality--and of ours.