Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers –
Have you ever noticed that sin causes us to be paranoid? Paranoid that people are going to find out that we failed, that we engaged in something we probably should not have engaged in. There is a level of a paranoia that comes when we engage in sin/sinful behavior. I do not pretend to have everything together, neither do I pretend to have arrived in my Christian walk- there are all kinds of things I have walked through and have engaged in. I am so ashamed when I look back on the details of my past but that is why we call it a past, meaning that it has no relevance to where we are right now. I think this is where we get stuck, we get stuck dealing with the details of the old; we allow our past to define us when we are no longer in that place. Anyways.. when we are doing wrong, I sense a level of paranoia. That is when I just begin to air all of my dirty laundry and do some confession. I confess before God and man because confession is so good for the soul and it sets us free.
We can not run from who we are for too long. After awhile, we are going to have to face who we are and what we are choosing to bring into our lives. I face things all the time, lately it has been temptations of sinful behavior, pressure to be successful and dealing with individuals I really do not care for. On top of that warfare, I am in a new environment living in a new city so the stress and anxiety wrapped in that one fact has tried to consume me heavily. My archenemy depression has paid me a visit and so this week has been one for the books. I lost a piece of myself in the shuffle and returned to behaviors I swore I would never go back to out of fear. I am human and I mess up and I fall but the great thing about Jesus is that He has given me grace. Grace that goes beyond my own performance and my own intentions – His grace picks me up when I fall and tells me that Simone, I want you- all of you, just the way you are in all of your “jacked-up”ness (not a real word). I love that God loves me completely, knowing that I would mess up- knowing that I would disappoint Him, that I would not meet his standards sometimes- yet, He still loves me. That is the beauty of grace! Should grace be taken for granted, absolutely not! It should be recognized for what it is, a second opportunity for repentance.
So let me encourage someone this evening, I know you made mistakes – we all have. Trust me, even that one you deem to be the best saint has made some type of mistake, but take heart- God give forgiveness and compassion to those who confess and make it right with him. The beauty of this forgiveness is that your sins are thrown into the sea of forgetfulness and you do not have to be bound to them anymore. You need to forgive yourself. Trust me, I know it is hard. Sometimes, I look over my life and all of the mistakes I have made and I know that I have been forgiven but I still hold my mistakes against myself. I do. I say, “okay Simone you failed before so work really hard so that you do not fail again.” This is totally opposite of the gospel, which says I need Jesus to walk upright. I cannot walk upright in myself because this flesh is awful and wants nothing to do with God, I have to rely on God in order to become a better person. He makes me better. That is the problem, we have been taught for so long that we have to get ourselves together, but the truth is we do not have the power or strength to perfect ourselves and that is why we need God- He perfects us! Forgive yourself and move forward.
I go to Forward City Church and our call is, “The past is gone. The future awaits. Move forward. ” And I repeat this mantra over you all, “The past is gone. The future awaits. Move forward.” Let it go and live. God is ready, willing and longing to love with forgiveness drenched in mercy and grace. He already released your mistakes/past, now will you?
Until next time,