"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." -Emerson

Monday, November 9, 2009

Falling down

So, I think it only appropriate to follow up my previous blog with a little, or perhaps alot, of grace. It is so easy to turn conviction into condemnation and we my friends, don't have to live under that oppression.

Have you ever fallen down hard? Messed something up so bad that you wondered how you or a relationship could ever recover? Completely taken an opportunity to show God's love and mercy and threw it out the window? Have you ever totally blown your witness?

I have. In big and small ways. I think my entire high school career I took a chance to bring others to Christ and threw it away for acceptance of a whole lot of lost people. There are family members I have yet to speak Christ's name to. I have gossiped when I should have stopped a conversation. I have said things to people that I thought they nor I could ever recover from. I've broken trusts, ignored hurts, caused pain, and made the words "Christ follower" a punchline to a not so funny joke. When someone has hurt me, I have lashed out instead of heaping coals of kindness on their head. I've blown it. Big time. Repeatedly. It is so easy to take those times and go into a place of self-condemnation, to say the words to our souls that Satan is just sitting on the sidelines and hoping we will say: you are not worth it, you are hopeless, you are a loser, you've failed, again.

The great thing is that we are not sinners who sometimes are righteous. In Christ, we are the righteous, who sometimes sin.

Don't believe me? Take a look:
"This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."
-Romans 3:22-24 NIV
Do you see that? If you are a Christ follower you are always righteous by God's grace through Jesus.
I am pretty clumsy. I once fell down the last 4 steps when visiting at my mom's house because for some reason, I just thought the staircase ended. It really hurt, to say the least. But besides a bruised backside, it was an ego that smarted worse as my mom rushed to see what had happen to her 27 year old daughter who was lying on the floor in the foyer. Just fell down the stairs, ma. Why? Because I just missed a couple.
Sometimes we miss a couple of steps and land hard on our rumps. We missed doing the things we should of. We missed saying the things we should have. We just miss it.
But, before we start focusing on the fall we just took, we better start looking at the One to help us up:

"If the LORD delights in a man's way,
he makes his steps firm;
though he stumble, he will not fall,
for the LORD upholds him with his hand."
- Psalm 37:23-24 NIV
We are imperfect beings trying to imitate a perfect God. Inevitably, we are going to stumble. We are going to miss a few steps, but God is going to hold our hand and keep us from crashing and burning.
Sometimes, we can wear ourselves out by trying to live out this Christian thing with these imperfect natures. We can try to keep feeling as though we are "good enough" by the amount of good deeds we do or the number of people we bring to Christ. Now, we know faith without deeds is dead, but the truth of Christ is that we are not saved by deeds. We don't have to earn our righteousness through always finding the next step. We can fall down sometimes.

"You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope."
-Galatians 5:4 NIV
It is only through faith and the Holy Spirit that we are going to ever get these broken down vessels to find the right steps because frankly, in our natural selves, it just isn't in us.
Have you blown it big time? Are you holding on to your past missteps? Thank God we don't serve a god who scores us based on our own efforts! Confess your missteps, humbly apologize to those you've hurt, and then give the rest to Him. Let yourself off the hook. Don't think you are somehow bigger than God by holding on to something He has already let go of.
My prayer for each of you reading this:

"To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen."
-Jude 1:24-25
Here's to being presented without fault no matter how many times we might fall...
Until next time,

1 comment:

Will and Jennifer Farmer said...

I am so thankful for His Grace & Mercy. And so thankful for you. :o) Thanks for always being there for me.