Christian ≠ Perfection
I want to talk to you today about the pressure to be perfect on this christian walk. The journey at times can be hard, and the way we handle our mistakes can either make or break us.
Some hold the idea that because God is perfect, we have to be, right? Isn't that what Matthew 5:48 says? "We must strive to be perfect and that means do no wrong, ever, right? So if we make a mistake it's all over for us!" WRONG.
Yes, we should strive to be just like Christ, the bible is clear on that, but becoming completely like Him in this life is impossible, because of our humanity. We are full of flaws. We have trouble understanding God's will sometimes, and even when we do understand, sometimes we have a hard time carrying it out. At times, we fall into temptation. Other times, we just outright disobey because we don't feel like doing what God expects of us. On top of that, there is an adversary seeking to sift us like wheat, seeking to devour us (Luke 22:31; 1 Peter 5:8) --- he sets up disguised traps, and then manipulates us into jumping right in. I even venture to say that because you have chosen to follow God, he tries 100x harder to bring you down. Simply put, as long as we are humans living on this earth, mistakes are inevitable at one point or another. Sounds bleak, I know, but the story doesn't stop there!
The good news is that God knows this, and that in Him there is redemption! The mistakes we make, do not have to be the end of us.
So what do we do when we make mistakes?
It is critical to our relationship with Christ, that we understand what to do when a mistake is made. But first, I will start with the number one thing not to do. We should not wallow endlessly in self-pity. This is what Satan, that adversary I was talking about before, loves to see. He loves for us to dwell on the mistake, so that we feel like we can never be anything more than the worst parts of us. This is exactly the opposite of God's design. As I said before, there is redemption in the Lord. When Satan points out your mistakes, it's just your mistake thrown in your face -- no 'but', no positivity. Satan desires for you to stay in a defeated, shameful place, that way you never take part in the ultimate victory to come through Jesus Christ. When God points out a mistake, there is always a follow up word of love and redemption, not shame. God says "this is what was done outside of my will, and there are consequences, but I love you. There is better than where you are right now. Come to me so I can show you the way."
Now on to what we should do! When we recognize our mistake, we ought to confess it to the Lord and repent (Proverbs 28:13, Luke 5:32, Luke 13:3, 1 John 1:9). (Note: I emphasize that we should confess to the Lord, because He is the only one that can save us. No other human, just as guilty as you are, can cleanse you from unrighteousness. No man has the power to absolve from sin. We can only be saved through Jesus Christ). One biblical example of what to do when we make mistakes is the story of David and Bathsheba. Jesus described David as a man after His own heart (Acts 13:22), but still David lusted, committed adultery, conspired for evil, and murdered all at once. When it was shown him, by the Lord's prophet Nathan, how terrible his actions were, He wrote Psalm 51. You can read the full story here. David understood his wrong and genuinely cried out to the Lord for forgiveness, to cleanse him, and to give him a new heart. It is that same posture we ought to take when we make mistakes as well.
Lastly, we ought to ask, and trust, God to help us do better next time. God has the power to help us overcome sin, and he desperately wants to help us do so. All we have to do is give Him the word.
So next time,
Confess in prayer.
Repent and ask for forgiveness.
Dust yourself off
And keep it pushing
(this time, relying on the Lord to help you steer away from making the same mistake again)
Remember amigos, one step at a time, un paso al vez.
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