The Good the Bad and the Rest

repentance, sin, confessionLife constantly surprises me.  You would think after 39 years I would be accustomed to the way that things work, but that just isn’t so.

My mistake is in thinking that I can attain some level of mastery in being a human being.  To be a human is to be error prone, selfish and often blind to what is most important.  So even if I do things right for a while, just wait, something stupid is coming.  I will inevitably muck something up and then spend a few days contemplating where I went wrong and what I can do to fix it.

This is basic human thinking.  Thankfully, I am no longer fully human.

Christ lives in me.  God in the flesh.  That means that I am to show the attributes and characteristics of God in how I think and act.  When I make a mistake I need to own up to it and realize that I am forgiven based on what Jesus Christ did for me on the cross at Calvary.  I am not to carry around a load of guilt and shame and cause that to make me hide from God.

The Good is that Jesus’ love for me does not change or diminish based on my behavior.  If I am on point one day and listening to the Spirit’s voice then I will produce the fruits of the Spirit and good things will come from that.  But God will not love me any more than He does right now.

Nor will He love me less when I display my fleshly characteristics and am selfish or thoughtless.  God’s love is constant and His offer of grace and forgiveness does not change.  This is a mighty and wonderful truth that I must never forget.  God loves me.  Right now, just like I am.

The Bad comes in when I do try and hide from God, either intentionally by ignoring His voice or unintentionally by wallowing in guilt and shame.  Either way, my focus is not where it should be.  Instead of focusing on Him, I become like Peter who focused on the wind and the waves and began to sink.  In this case, my “wind” and my “waves” are me and my problem.  And it is always a bad idea when I focus on anything other than God who is Sovereign.

So what’s the Rest of this process?  The Rest is what happens in between the absolute truth of God’s grace and redemption and the Bad of my sin and rebellion.  The Rest is where I must take the right steps to confess my sin and make Jesus the Lord of my life once again.  The Rest is always up to me and will always come down to my willingness to repent.

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