So You Keep Making Mistakes.

10/16/2017

Sometimes I wish I could just pull up a chair, brew some tea, and get cozy with each of you. The older and wiser (HA!) I get, the more I realize I'm not interesed in having shallow conversations that lead to nobody changing or growing or getting their heart filled. I feel like I've been through too much and seen too many people go through the same things over and over to think that staying silent or keeping those poisons inside is going to help anybody, like, ever.

So let's pretend it's me in front of you - probably with frizzy hair and some kind of horrible "I-forgot-to-put-on-real-shoes-before-I-left-campus" socks and sandals combination. But freaky footwear aside, here's what I think you need to know. Let me encourage you for a second.

I know that life is hard. I know that living a life after God can be really hard. I wish more people would admit that - and then let that spur them on to do their very best to find the joy anyway. To bless others anyway. To encourage fellow believers anyway. I've been thinking a lot about what I would say if a younger version of myself came to me and said, "But Beth - this doesn't seem worth it. I'm not changing. In fact, some days I feel worse. I don't feel like I'm going anywhere and I don't feel like God is on my side." 

And for you right now, you might be reading this and thinking, "Well, there it is." You keep making mistakes. You don't feel like you're changing. You feel like you're doomed to be the same striving person forever, never seeing real growth - or seeing temporary growth and then falling right back the next time something gets in your way.

I think we make a big miscalculation when we measure our "holiness" or "goodness" based on how visible our sin symptoms are. I'm not saying that it's not important to be righteous and flee from all things that keep us from becoming like Jesus. Please keep doing that. But what I am saying is often we think - if I just stop doing this sinful thing, then I'm okay. Then God can love me. We think the mistakes in and of themselves are the problem. We don't look at the cause and the circumstance and the history behind them. We don't look at what's really creeping into our heart and making its bed there. 

Look at your heart. Look at what comes out of it. Pour yourself into knowing who God is. Cling to what is good. God is perfecting you slowly, but the process isn't supposed to look perfect. Practice being authentically kind before you focus on just not doing whatever thing it is you're trying to stop doing. Practice being a servant. Practice throwing away your selfish reclusiveness and reach out so somebody who needs it. Practice producing fruit of the Spirit unapologetically. These things don't have to be big, vibrant gestures. They can be small. But practice them. As they start to become markers of who you are, watch how suddenly the thing you were trying to stop doing grows smaller and smaller in your life.

So when you keep making mistakes, and you're painfully aware that who you are and who you want to be don't match up - remember this. Remember you're in process. Remember Jesus - remember who he says you are, and know you're already new. 

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:1-5
 Also, - 2 Peter 1:1-10.




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