I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. Gal 1:6-7
Being a military wife, and a military daughter, I have worshipped in many different churches – all different sizes, denominations, and theologies (sometimes the choices are slim). And I have been in churches that put heavy yokes of legalism on their members…but the heaviest yoke of legalism, I put on myself. Girls, do you struggle with the sin of Pride? Not the kind of Pride that says, “I want everyone to know all about me and all of the great things I have done”; but the kind of Pride that is injured, the kind of Pride that says,”did anyone else see that mistake I made? Or rather, how could anyone have missed it?” Perfectionism always starts with the best of intentions but ultimately ends in discouragement. It was inevitable that I would apply that kind twisted logic to my spiritual walk. <<sigh>> I’m not the only one…so many women are “working” on something. Who doesn’t want to be a better mom, better wife? And thinner too, with a spotless house and gourmet meals. But, what did me in, was trying to be all of that, while knowing I must always be kind and patient and loving and forgiving and generous…and spend hours in prayer and bible study (early morning, before anyone else is awake) and also volunteer at church (not just for VBS) and the list goes on. At one time, thinking like that really dominated my thought-life. Every day was set up for failure rather than the “success” I was chasing. When I put godliness on my to-do list I thought I was just being humble, knowing my own faults, acknowledging my sin. On the face of it, that sounds like good Christianity. But here are some important things I have learned along this road:
- Focusing most of your time on your self-improvement and your unworthiness is not helpful in your Christian walk – it is sin. God wants us to spend our energy on better things. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets” (Matt 22:37-40).
- YOU will not fix yourself. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Eph 2:8-9).
- YOU cannot save yourself from Sin – Jesus already did that. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:22-23). Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (2 Cor 5:17).
- Yes, we all struggle with our sin nature but an unhealthy fixation on your sin draws your eye to yourself rather than keeping it on God, the rightful recipient of your worship. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you (Matt 6:33).
It all goes back to Abiding in the Vine (John 15:1-11). God wants us to work on our relationship with Him and let Him work on our righteousness.
JustaGirl…just like you