|I do have these mastered. #allthat|
Paul wrote to the church of Corinth in 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 , "So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."
A sin is a sin is a sin in God's eyes, but humans tend to put a level of badness on our sins. No, I have not killed anyone, but I have harbored bitterness and nasty thoughts toward others. I am a sinner. I am not homosexual, but I have committed sexual sins. I am a sinner. No one is any better than the next. And for us to walk around and say, 'I can't believe her. I haven't cheated on my husband and I NEVER would' (probably with a copy of "Fifty Shades" in our hands) always waves a red flag to me. Please don't say that. First, it is up to God to judge and He will. But second, you never know what may happen tomorrow and unfortunately we are all capable of horrible things. Our attitude should be that of compassion - loving that person and accepting them while not approving of their sin. It's hard though - I know! But, I want to be treated that way! I want my friends to love me even though I have sin issues with putting people before God and speaking hateful words to my family and having envious yet judgmental thoughts towards others. I want them to help me through my sin, not excuse it. Our attitude should also be that of humbleness - it is not past my sinful heart to entertain temptations which lead me to sin in ways I never would have guessed I would.
I am humbled each time the Spirit shows me another way that I'm far from God and not like Jesus. He showed me a few weeks ago that I'm not bold and honest when I need to be - when it may be hard. He showed me that I was still valuing man's opinion more than His. It's not like I walk around thinking I'm all that, but I do tend to think that I'm 'good,' that I have things under control and figured out.
In September I joined Community Bible Study (CBS). CBS is a group of all different aged women from churches all over the area who come together every Thursday morning to study a book of the Bible. This year we're studying the book of John. I've been placed in a Core group of ladies who are blessed with amazing insight to the Word of God. And I've been completely humbled. I thought I was really far along in my walk and pretty knowledgeable about the things and ways of God. There are layers upon layers to the scriptures. When I answer a question with the obvious sentence right out of the text there are usually so many other things that can be shown to us in those verses. As I've spent the last month in my group not saying much, I am thinking back to eleven or so years ago when I got involved in my very first Bible Study at CFC, a Beth Moore Study - "Jesus, The One and Only." There were so many ladies in that group that had so much to say and I was like a sponge, absorbing things from them - flat out amazed at what I was learning. God spoke to me through that study as I sat back and 'didn't know much,' He taught me. I'm so there again.
I have had to fight off some nasty self talk, and attacks that say - "Really, you don't know the tip of the iceberg, girl - What business do you have ministering to others!" But then I remember the truth of the matter - we will not have 'arrived' until we are face to face with Jesus! So, it is awesome that I'm continuing to learn. None of us could learn as easily as we do if we didn't have those around us who are further along in their insights and understandings. Praise God for how He places us in the communities that He does!
So, thank you Lord for reminding me that I have so far to go, but You are right here with me...that I am not 'all that' and am capable of sins beyond my belief. Thank you that I can lean on You and the Holy Spirit to give me strength to resist temptations and that You give me a way out because You love me. Thank you that I can be confident that You began a good work in me and will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Phl 1:6) Amen!