When I began this journey to learn to follow Christ I must have thought that it would be easy. I must have thought that I would just be able to stop going-through-the-motions without any failures. I must have or I wouldn’t have been so shocked at how easy it’s not happening.
I am still the same sinner that I used to be. Still the same Old Adam in myself I have to kill every day. So it should come as no surprise how hard it is.
I’m having a hard time remembering that I am God’s beloved. I met with some people in the same field as I the other day and it was hard not comparing what we were doing at our place verses what they were doing at theirs. I found myself trying to find a way to put our stamp on upcoming joint projects, that people would see what WE had done instead of the joint effort. It was like being back in Junior High again, having to be the best, comparing, trying to be on top. Oh the drama!
But I caught myself, and was silent for a moment as I realized how easily I had slipped into it. The people I was meeting with must have thought I was crazy or had dozed off or something!
The end goal of our joint project is good, it’s for God’s glory and how that happens doesn’t much matter. It doesn’t much matter because God is going to show up, because we’re asking for Him to show up. So it doesn’t matter if our name is one people walk away from talking about. Or if when they walk away they are talking about me. It’s about God.
I have to remind myself that I am God’s beloved. I have to continue to rest in that. It’s not a one day thing.
And at the same time, I have to remember that I may mess up. And when I mess up God is right there ready to forgive me. That’s why His son died isn’t it? So that we could be forgiven? So that we wouldn’t have to be perfect?
I’m trying really hard just to be human. To accept that I will mess up. To be willing to let others see that. To be willing to be vulnerable. Not to show people that I’m better because I can mess up, but because I think pretending I am something I am not (perfect or void of failure) is prideful, it’s living behind a mask. But if I am remembering that I am accepted by God, a God whose love and acceptance is way more important than anyone else’s approval, then being thought of as a failure by someone else is really insignificant.
I don’t have to be someone I’m not to be loved by God. I am loved by God because he created me, he called me by name, he knows how many hairs are on my head and the number of days in my life. I’m not loved by God because I did this great thing, or because I didn’t mess that up. I will never measure up if that’s how I think I “earn” his love.
But I must daily die to myself and daily remember that I am loved.
For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.
I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day!
1 Corinthians 15:31
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me