Dear Lord, so far today, I’ve done all right. I haven’t gossiped, haven’t lost my temper, haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or over indulgent. I’m very thankful for that. But, in a few minutes, God, I’m going to get out of bed. And from then on, I’m probably going to need a lot more help.
We laugh when we see stuff like this on the internet or a calendar or wherever. We think it's pretty funny or it gives us a small giggle with a smile.
When do most of us think of that quip, if at all? For me, it's the 30 minute drive home after work. You know, when the radio isn't on and your mind starts wandering and you just start drifting. Then, when you least expect it, everything you said and/or did that day comes back to you in all its glory and full riveting color.
Every time you tore down a co-worker....or gossiped about someone.....or made an inappropriate remark or comment.....every...little...thing....right down to the finest detail. It comes back to you in gleaming precision.
And I....I mean, you, realize, that I am not at all where we want to be in our Christian walk. (Just joking about that whole "you" thing!)
As I've said before, and I'll say again; sometimes, we as Christians are our own worst enemy. That old saying, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" can also read "...paved by so-called Christians."
Okay, so I had a day where I didn't do what I know was correct and right. I didn't exactly exemplify the virtues that my God would expect from me. Does that mean I crawl in a corner and give up? Go back and live my old lifestyle? Get baptized again because it obviously didn't take the first time?
Stop laughing at the last one. You know what I do? I get up, dust myself off, and start walking again. I remember that I belong to God, no matter what my brain tells me, and I am His child. I read another quip once about failure. The essence of it-success is getting up one more time than you fail.
Think about it. You KNOW you are going to fall. The best of us do it. Success is getting up and letting God wash you off. Success is not defining yourself by the number of times you fall, but by the number of times you continue to try.
1 Peter 2:9-10 (NKJV)-"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy."
I like to ask people a question when they come to me asking me about why they continue to do things in the flesh after their salvation experience. It tears us up inside knowing how we "failed" to be a Christian. I ask, "Was there EVER a time when you DIDN'T care that you had stumbled? Was there EVER a time when you DIDN'T care about what you said or what you did?"
Most of the time, the answer is, "Yes, right before I got saved." To me, and I may be wrong, but isn't that a victory? NOW, you care. NOW, it makes you mad or upset when you laugh inappropriately or say something coarse. NOW you care about how you walk. Before, you didn't care. Not everything is immediate in the kingdom. We are on a JOURNEY toward sanctification. We are pilgrims, strangers in a strange land.
How many times have you seen a wet paint sign, and the kid in you just WANTED so bad to go up and touch the surface just to see? You know what will happen, but the yearning is still there!
You are fighting an old nature that, for some of us, ruled our bodies with an iron fist for many years of our life. Now, thanks to the Holy Spirit, we are aware and alerted to that fact. I consider it an honor to even realize that I need to watch how I let the world affect me now. Things I used to take for granted and do without batting an eye make me sit up and take pause now.
Imagine where you'll be tomorrow, with God's help. Imagine what you'll know about yourself in a month, if you read God's word. Imagine how you'll feel about your co-workers, friends, and peers in a year, if you spend time praying for them, loving them, and trying to live the true life God has given you right before their eyes.
Don't hide your inadequacies; and don't let them define you. I remember what I used to say, if I did something that someone considered "hypocritical". I would tell them, "I'm not perfect, God is still working on me. And it reminds me every day, every hour, every minute, why I needed a Savior."
I'm not ashamed to admit that I need directions from God. And I'm also not ashamed to say that I sometimes do things that make Him shake His head at me, and maybe even do a *facepalm* (the Twitter people know that one). But I know He loves me, and He has the patience to pick me up, dust me off, and set me back on the path.
And the best part of all? I'm not alone. I'm never alone anymore. Even when I feel like it, I'm not. You can have that feeling as well. I'm not perfect, I'm just like you.
I have hope. And hope never disappoints. Let me know if you want me to introduce you to my hope. He's a great Man and He can change your world in the blink of an eye.
Be blessed in the Lord today.