Somewhere in my finite mind, I have made mental
rules "lists" of what it means to be a "good" Christian. Despite "knowing better", I frequently line up my flaws and compare them to this "list" to determine if I am still on God's "nice" Holy list or if I have crossed over to the "bad" "wretched am I" list.
Now, I understand that you may SuPeR "spiritual" and may be thinking,
"Heaven, that's silly! That's not how God is. The Bible says....x, y, & z."
I totally understand!
It does sound VERY silly!
If I heard someone else saying such a thing, I would assure them THAT is NOT what the Bible says, and that is NOT how God views them. One of my biggest passions is that people know the truth about who they are in Christ! One of my biggest flaws is that I know who I am in Christ until I "mess up", sin, or make a mistake. THEN, I'm all about excluding myself from the race because I don't "measure" up. I don't "qualify" for the grace of God, because....ooooohhhhhh, my sin is toooooooo big!
"I know better than to sin!" (my biggest chastisement to myself)
Most of us KNOW right from wrong. If not, we learn very quickly, whether through natural consequences or by being convicted of the wrong we do.
Immediately Upon "sin"/mistake, I dig out "the" list from my mind.
It goes something like this:
- "good" Christians serve God at all costs.
- "good" Christians don't "do" depression.
-"good" Christians do not make "big" mistakes.
-You need to punish yourself (suffer) in order to be forgiven.
-Your sin is not covered until grace because you purposely sinned.
-Don't repent & move on or you are "abusing" God's grace.
-Other Christians don't do THAT kinda' stuff.
-Can you say FAILURE!!!
-You "blew it" again. God's grace is running out!
-"good" Christians don't make the same mistakes over and over.
-Your sin is bigger than God's grace.
-"good" Christians would have it "together" by now.
Now, you may or may not have a similar list that you survey to determine if you are in "God's good graces". Look at my list. Is that list pointing back to Jesus or is it pointing towards my sin/actions/behavior? Is it filled with love and grace or is it full of condemnation and shame?
Check out this "list":
-You are forgiven.
-I remember your sins no more.
-My grace is sufficient for you.
-You are made in my image.
-Press on toward the goal.
-I ordained every one of your days before they came to be.
-I know you inside and out.
-I don't keep a record of your wrongdoings.
-When you are weak, I am strong.
-I love you.
What "list" are you living by?
Which "list" is embedded in your mind and your heart?
~Holy Spirit, I pray that you would open our eyes to see the glorious inheritance we have because we are sons and daughters of the Most High King. I pray that you would reveal the incorrect "lists" we have been living by. I pray that you would pour out YOUR Truth of who each person is in Christ...not just when we are acting "good", but all the time. I pray for Your Spirit to rise within each person reading this. Draw them into the Truth. Draw me more into Your Truth. Let the lies be revealed and a renewing of the Truth be instilled deep within each person. In Jesus' name, Amen.