(Originally posted on our former blog site on 7/23/2012)
Have you ever seen the phrase "work in progress". I have and it reminds me of one of the many incredibly phrased lines in a worship song that my home church sang long ago. It says- “I’m not who I want to be but I’m not who I used to be”. I love that, isn’t it the truth?
Over and over I think to myself, I am not who I want to be forgetting sometimes how far I have really come.
It reminds me of Paul’s writings when he said “the things I want to do, I do not do. But the things I do not want to do, I do”. (Romans 7:15) Ah yes, there it is. The human struggle of getting caught up in doing things we don’t want to, and even know not to do.
Why do we do it?
Why is it such a struggle sometimes to make the right choices?
I don’t know about you but I fall short of "living righteously"… often. I find myself doubting, gossiping, harboring resentment and unforgiveness; to put it simply- I FAIL.
Not too many years ago while attending a youth camp as a counselor my youngest sister came down with some sort of flu so I let her sleep it off in the cabin. My whole life I hadn’t been nice to my sister, to be frank I was quite mean. Saying hurtful things sometimes, and just plain ignoring her the rest of the time. I was convicted of this after developing a relationship with God and knew that I needed to ask her forgiveness but I had too much pride to ever ask.
While she was up in the cabin sleeping off a fever a few girls who had drove in for the day had started a rather large conversation in the room preventing my sister from resting. When I caught wind of it, I marched right in and yelled at them calling them “inconsiderate" and "rude”.
In fact I was so mad and said so much that these girls left- not just the camp, but our church. Talk about failure.
Not only was I overcompensating and trying to baby my sister because I couldn’t say I was sorry, but I also lost “my cool” (whatever that is) with two of our youth girls that had been attending our youth group. I never saw either of the two girls I yelled at again. I beat myself up for what I had done that day for years to come, wondering if my actions had caused someone else to lose their faith in God. Epic FAIL.
Having said that, I heard my husband speak of failure in one of his more recent messages a few weeks back and he made the comment that “Failure is an event, not a person”. It is exactly what I needed to hear. While I may not make the right choices one hundred percent of the time, that does not make ME a failure.
So don’t get down on yourself, don’t beat yourself up. Repent of your sin. Accept Christ’s perfect sacrifice that was made to give us forgiveness from our sin. Then Press on with your head held high without loss of strength or dignity. There you have it, when you find yourself in sin just learn to RAP- Repent, Accept, Press on. (I can just imagine in my head a person getting down on their knees and rapping, if only I had a clever chorus for us all to repeat… I will work on that).
No one can be perfect. No one will make the right choices all of the time. I strive to do my best but in doing my best I also have to accept that I will come short.
Learn to fail forward.
A righteous man (or woman) may fall seven times but he picks himself up. (Proverbs 24:16) Don’t get down on yourself because when it all comes down to it, you’ve come a long way! “I’m not who I want to be but I’m not who I used to be”! You are a work in progress. Keep going!
Titus 3: 4-7 But—When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.