I am just as messed up, struggling, and less than perfect as anyone else. I am a sinner. A couple of the comments left here or elsewhere lately have led me to fear that some may be seeing me as having it all together or being spiritually "advanced." HA! Nothing could be further from the truth.
Every day is a struggle. Every. Single. Day. As Paul wrote in Romans 8:15, I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Like Paul, I know the teachings and the law. I know what God expects of me. I know what is holy and pure. What is right and true. And still I do wrong.
I have trouble being grateful sometimes.
I am sometimes jealous when others seem to have what I desire, but don't have.
I get angry and lose my temper.
I am sometimes proud of what I write here or teach at church and forget that it's God, not me.
I listen to the music, watch the movies and television, and hear the jokes of this world. God created music and entertainment and laughter. None of those things are bad just for existing, but this world has corrupted them and filled them with words and images that are far from holy or pleasing to God. And still I listen and watch and hear.....and I enjoy it. Laugh with it. Think on it.
I harbor feelings that are far from loving toward those who have hurt me.
I judge sometimes without even realizing it.
I don't pray anywhere near enough.
My house is messy.
The laundry languishes in the dryer and I don't iron.
I don't cook every day and I impulse shop...forgetting to check the sale papers and clip those coupons.
I fall asleep when I'm reading the Bible.
I have doubts.
I'm just like you. Maybe we don't have the same sins, but we both have sin in our lives. God knows that and guess what? HE LOVES US ANYWAY! He knows we're going to screw up and he forgives us. It's called "grace." But don't be lulled into the trap of thinking that grace is a free-pass. Far from it.
We can't just go on sinning and then say "Oops! Sorry, God" when we get caught. We are to keep learning and growing in our relationship with God. We are to become more and more Christ-like all the time. We will mess up, but as long as we tell God we're sorry and honestly try to change our ways, it's okay. It's the willful ignoring of God's laws and teachings that break his heart and anger him.
We're all works in progress, construction zones in a way, so yes, we can learn from each other....but we must be very careful not see either ourselves or others as better. We all have something to teach because we are all uniquely crafted by the Father and we all have different strengths and experiences and we are all at different stages of the journey.