Old habits die hard.

Recently,  I’ve noticed that as far as I’ve come in my journey, some days I am still exactly where I started. Am I alone in this? Full disclosure, I still see the world through the lens of the girl I used to be. The girl who is desperately seeking love and acceptance but hopelessly suspicious of anyone who offers it–even my heavenly Father. I feel like I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Reminds me of Paul in the book of Romans, “For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.” (Romans 7:18-19 NIV) I want to live in the truth that I am a new creation. 2 Corinthians 5:17 I want to live day by day taking each thought as it comes and filter that through what God says about the situation. Romans 12:1-2 

Let’s face it. It’s easier to say than do. So quickly, the pessimistic protector in me creeps up and questions people’s motives and even my own. Why did they say that? Why did I get so upset? Why don’t they like me? What if I fail at this? 

Monday night, a new friend said something so profound that I asked him to repeat it. He said “The responsibility for the consequences of our actions are in God’s hands and He’s already paid for our sins.” Now, that is not word for word verbatim, it was around 11pm and I had been up since 6 am, so please let’s not play the semantics game. The point of the statement struck me at my core. 

The reason that I’ve been struggling so much with every choice, word, thought and deed in my day to day life –be it mine or someone I encounter, has been my perspective. I’ve been thinking that my value , and their value, comes from what we do. What’s more, is I believed that making the wrong choice of friends, work, church, hobbies, where I spend my time and money, could potentially derail God’s plan for my life. 

Two thoughts. 

First 

How arrogant am I that I think anything I do can derail God’s plans. 

I’ve touched on this before from other angles, but it seems that I’ve yet to master the skill. The beauty of God is there’s no failing a test. Like when your parents taught you to ride a bike, you just keep trying until you succeed. The entire time , your Father in Heaven is rooting for you! There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God if we know the redeeming power of Christ in our lives. Romans 8:28-39 THAT becomes our identity. It becomes our mode of operation. If we are to love others as we love ourselves, we first have to love ourselves the way God loves us. Which, means that we are spotless and blameless, already made righteous (that is right with God). There’s no mistake, ours or someone else’s that is too big, that His love can’t heal and overcome. 1 Peter 4:8

Second (Also said by the same friend, pretty sure he has a mainline to God) 

The past is paid for , the future hasn’t happened yet, and God’s grace is sufficient for today.

We have already been justified. Romans 5:1-2 Which means that we don’t have to make excuses, to hide or put blame on anyone–not even ourselves. Do we need to confess and submit to what is a better way–by all means yes! Grace creates an attitude of obedience not a book of rules that must be kept. It’s a journey and journeys take time.


This brings me to a concluding question. 

How can I embrace who God says I am? 

If I need to love myself the way that God does so that I can love others without self motivated thoughts getting in the way–where do I start? The Sunday School answer is the Bible. Most believers have a pretty good academic understanding of what the Good Word says about identity in Christ. I mean, I have a degree in the Bible and I still struggle deeply with grasping the depth of God’s love and how it applies to my life. The thing that’s changing it is truth tellers in my life. 

Get plugged in. In a world that is mobile, online, fast paced and ankle deep we need to seek out those iron sharpening iron relationships. If Christ really is the most important thing in your life, if the Gospel really is humanity’s only hope, what are we waiting for? Find a group. Make a group. Be vulnerable. Share your struggles. Pray together. Love one another, and in that , you’ll know on a heart level–a heart changing level— the life changing love of God.

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