I don’t know about you, but there are things in my Christian life that I wish weren’t part of it. You know– all the doubts, insecurities, and shortcomings that are part of the equation in our fallen flesh.
I’ve not been online for various reasons (watching Little B, Bek’s graduation, getting Em ready for her missions trip, planning upcoming construction/renovations) but I wanted to post this quickly to address a common thread in my inbox lately: unpleasant parts of our fallen life and spiritual growth that give us anxiety.
I wanted to give you hope, because these inner struggles are actually signs of life and evidences of God’s grace, and when we recognize them as such, we can move forward with a sound mind and peaceful heart instead of getting stuck in guilt and self-condemnation.
Fears from your correspondence:
1. “I don’t pray enough.” Can I just say that I can’t imagine anyone thinking that they actually pray enough. Every time you feel guilt about not praying enough, recognize that the Holy Spirit gives you the desire to pray, and that feeling of “not enough” is a sign of His grace in your life. (And then pray! :))
2. “I constantly fail.” Who doesn’t? Don’t believe the lie that so-and-so is perfect. They aren’t. They just struggle in different ways than you do. When you realize you’ve failed, confess it and move on and do then next right thing. Don’t compare yourself to others. Look to Christ.
3. “I’ll never change.” That is not the voice of God telling you that, but of self-condemnation and the Accuser. It’s true that you’ll never be perfect, but in Christ we do have the tools to change and the Holy Spirit’s job is to prompt you towards change so that you’ll look more like a member of the “family” of God. If the Holy Spirit convicts you of an area you need to change, this is another evidence of His refining work in your life. Rejoice!
4. “I’ve ruined my ministry by ________.” You may have ruined your reputation, but unless you’ve built your ministry on a house of cards of your own false goodness or some lofty pedestal of “perfection”, your sin handled properly is ministering gospel grace to those around you. The only way you can ruin your ministry it to sin and not make it right or to promote yourself and your own reputation instead of giving glory to Christ. People know you aren’t perfect and don’t expect you to be.
5. “I must be the world’s worst mother.” The horrible mothers in the world don’t give this a thought. The end. You are an imperfect mother on assignment from God to do your best with the tools you have now and to point your kids to Christ. I’d wager that your awareness to your own shortcomings actually means that you are a pretty amazing mom who gives yourself too little credit.
Don’t just believe your thoughts. Run them through the sieve of Scripture and see truth and discard lies. When you are in Christ, you are loved, accepted, and being conformed. It may seem painful sometimes, but we can take comfort knowing that God is working for our good. He is for us!
2 Thes. 1:11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.
1 Thes. 5: 23, 24 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.