Have you broken your New Year's resolution already?? Maybe, maybe not. I'll never tell. ;-) I know I broke one on, um, January 2nd -- but I'm following the EASIEST RESOLUTIONS EVER plan, so I feel pretty good about where the first couple of months are going. But yeah... I still said them. I even wrote them down. Eventually, I'll forget! Either that or, well, life happens. Mistakes will be made.
I'd like to share with you a few things I am keeping in mind for when I mess up, I make a mistake, or I just want to throw in the towel on making promises to myself for an entire year - or to anything actually (humanity and all...). I'm telling you because I know you've been there before, losing sight of the goal and needing God to rattle your cage. Everyone has.
So I'm working with the word RAD. It's just fun ... and real. Kinda like you.
Rejoice When God reminds you that you are R-A-A-D because you can ...
Recognize. Admit-and-Accept. Discover.
1 Timothy 4:16
Being self-aware is everything in this case. Can you even admit to YOURSELF that you messed up? Realizing who you are and maintaining a clear perception of your personality, beliefs, motivations, and habits will open up a HUGE door to real peace.
Get up and look in the mirror and, with all of that reflection's internal spots and blemishes and huge mistakes ... recognise your errors, yourself, and, even if you already know there are tweaks to be made ... be okay with who you see. You are a beloved creation, ‘warts’ and all.
"Cultivate these things. Immerse yourself in them. People will all see you mature right before their eyes! Keep a firm grasp on both your character AND your teaching. Don't be diverted. Just keep at it. Both you and those who hear you will experience salvation." -1 Timothy 4:16 (italics & bold mine)
Read the suggested proverb. Which person do you respect more? The person who continuously tries to cover up their shortcomings and mistakes WHEN THEY ARE SO OBVIOUS or the person who says, "OOPS, that was me..." (and I'm not just talking about claiming the passing of personal gas, of course).
Wise Solomon reminded us that we can't calcimine our mistakes and get by with it, but that we'll find a host of mercy by fessing up before dropping said mistakes. I often don't know which of those is harder to do...
"You can’t whitewash your sins and get by with it; you find mercy by admitting and leaving them."
(learn to lean...)
“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today Is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips Then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”– Brennan Manning
I've always loved this quote from Manning as I first heard it as a recorded intro to a song by dcTalk. But you know, I do not attach any conclusions to the perspectives of the unbelieving world in this quote. Because... *sigh* ...I often relate more to the unbelievable. Yup. I am a weak, frail human being who lives in fear of one thing. The Crawl. Why? Because I am a teacher, because I am a friend, and because I know a heck of a lot of people who respect me for some reason. Bless their hearts. *wink*
Will the love continue when your walk becomes a crawl? I don't know if that matters if you didn't learn something huge while crawling around there. Fortunately, Jesus teaches us a lot about putting the LEAN in learn.
I believe one of my FIRST memory verses was Romans 8:28 where Paul reminds his readers that, "all things work together for good for them that love Him and are called according to His purposes." He knows us FAR better than we know ourselves and keeps us present before Him. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God will be sculptured into SOMETHING REAL, SOMETHING, well ... "good!"
And that can only happen when we are stay connected, in some way, to Jesus.
"Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good."
What if I stumble? What if I fall? What if I lose my step and I make fools of us all? Will the love continue when my walk becomes a crawl?
What if I stumble?
I have an answer to that; I have found myself uttering these words in the rear view mirror before: GET. YOURSELF. UP. Let it go. Move on. Much like any resolution mistakes, the idea here is that NOONE lives up to their own perception of themselves.
And corresponding to this, the apostle Peter encouraged his readers to BE CONTENT WITH THEMSELVES! How 'bout THAT? Seriously. Go ahead and surrender because your time will come. He'll elevate you, if necessary, at that right time. In the meantime, you can live radiantly at ease with God as He is FULL of heart for you and can match any of your anxiety with His truth. Let it go, whatever "it" may be ... draw near to God, and He'll draw near to you ... every time.
Happy still-the-beginning-of-the-year. Now when (okay, IF!) YOU mess up, make a mistake, or you just want to throw in the towel on your resolutions, don't forget that The Friend truly believes you are, yes, R-A-A-D. Yes, RAD. Hey, I do too!
“I hear You whispering my name. You say, ‘My love for You will never change.’”