I am a Christian. I'm not perfect. In fact, I am perfectly flawed. It's my flaws that make me a perfect candidate for Christianity. I am the reason Christ died. He thought I was to die for!
I needed to say that for two reasons: First, I needed to say that to everyone who watches Christians, believers and non-believers alike, and have the idea in their minds that a Christian person is supposed to be perfect or flawless. Perhaps you've never consciously verbalized those ideas, but maybe you have looked at someone who "claimed" to be a Christian and judged them harshly or maybe even unjustly because they did not live up to YOUR standards or expectations. It is this fallacy in our thinking that causes Christians to walk around carrying heavy loads of hurts, disappointment, and fear; they are afraid that if you find out that they struggle in their walk with Christ that you will discredit them, their calling, or their ministry. Matthew 6:14-15 "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
Secondly, while I understand why we feel the need to communicate the idea that we are perfect, we are doing a disservice to the work of the kingdom. In essence, we are making Christianity an exclusionary club that is only open to "perfect" people. The bible tells us in 1 John 1:8-10 that "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."
The Walls Groups sings a song that speaks to this idea. Here are the lyrics:
"This song is not for you, if you've never cried a river
Or had your heart broken in two
This song is not for you, if everyday you wake up
The skies are blue
But this is for anyone, no matter how you pray
The pain won't let you get through
But you try and you try
Still they lie, they say that it's over for you
If you're a miracle today and God has always made a way
If you have food to eat, a place to sleep and you really can't complain
This song is for you"
Here's my truth: It's 2016 and today I am comfortable in my skin. I didn't wake up one morning to find myself in this place. In order for me to get to this place, God had to sit me down and remind me that I was created in HIS image. It took a whole lot of reassurance from God before I knew my worth. The world had knocked me down, told me I was not good enough, and would never amount to much of anything...BUT God!. It took me realizing that I am not my past. I am not what I did, or what my parents did. I am not my finances, my neighborhood, or anyone's idea of who I should be. I am comfortable in my skin, but it took God constantly refueling me when the enemy drained me of everything I thought I knew. So, when you see me walking in confidence, it's not perfection -it's God. I am a Christian. I'm not perfect. I am perfectly flawed, but Christ died for my imperfections and that gives my life WORTH!
Judgement is incarceration. Not just to the person who is being judged, but also to the gifts, purpose, and talents that lay dormant within the prisoner. Moses was a murderer, David was an adulterer, Paul persecuted the church, YET God used them all mightily. Lazarus was DEAD. Ha! God even used him to show forth his glory. What a powerful thought.
Did you know that one of the enemy's greatest weapons is to remind you of your past? Even though Christ has forgiven us of our sins, we still sometimes walk with our heads hung - too ashamed to show our face and present ourselves before the father. By reminding us of our past, the enemy traps us into thinking that we are still wearing our old sin-stained garments, and are therefore not fit for kingdom duty.
While the fact that we are constantly beating ourselves up about our past is quite devastating, we have other believers who look down on us and repeatedly cast us down because we weren't "always" Christians as they supposedly were. If I'm not mistaken, the bible tells us that for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Some of us have walked away from the faith because we feel unfit for duty. I want to encourage you today by reminding you that once Christ has forgiven you, you are ready for duty. I wouldn't put a baby behind the wheel of a macktruck, but I would certainly allow him to hold his own bottle or teach him how to build a tower on their own. Then, as he grows, I would continue to give him more responsibility.
There is work for you to do in the kingdom. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Go forth and turn this world upside down for the kingdom of God.
Blessings my brothers and sister.
This blog post is about us giving ourselves permission to be US...just as God created us! Let's face it, this can be challenging for us as Christians because lessons of humility have been ingrained in us -- and in many cases rightly so. Therefore, when God calls us out of our comfort zone and up from amongst the ordinary, humdrum, and mundane, we are challenged with this new idea of walking in the light of who we were created to be. Here's a little fact about light: It illuminates the darkness and accentuates the light that already exists. Therein lies the struggle. If we give ourselves permission to be US, just as God created us, we automatically SHINE! This goes against our previously taught lessons on humility -- Doesn't it? Contrary. When we let our light so shine before men, they WILL see our good works and glorify our father which is in heaven. However, this light that we are talking about is the light of Christ and not our self-professed, self-confident, self-centered light. God wants His light that is within us to shine. Even the most confident individuals struggle with questions such as: Will people think I am too full of myself if I walk in my calling? Will I still be accepted by my peers? Am I good enough to be called and/or used of God? We ask ourselves: what if my light shines too brightly?
Let's look at it this way. We know that we are born in sin (Psalms 51:5) However, when we accept Christ, we are made new. New creatures. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says that "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." When we become new, we get that "light." As we continue to draw nigh to Christ our light shines brighter. We begin to take on the character of Christ and His image is illuminated in us. Christ and the world begins to see manifested evidence of who we were before He created us--the image of us that he pictured when we were conceived in the mind of Christ. This makes the father proud. Finally, we are walking, talking, maneuvering, and gesturing like the father. Even further, we have special features/traits of the father that he did not gift anyone else with. You are the only one who can write the way you write, sing the way you sing, dance the way you dance, minister the way you minister, etc... Therefore, it is important for you to be you. Christ had YOU in mind when He created YOU not someone else! Be you!
"For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts,God!
How vast is the sum of them!" Psalms 139:13-17
Be you baby! There is only one you....and this world needs the gift that you carry :-)