I’ve come to loathe Facebook. It’s filled with posts and photos that day after day seem to add up to the same thing, people portraying a life that isn’t really theirs. We live in a world that makes us strive for perfection to the utmost degree. You can never be pretty enough, skinny enough, a good enough mother, a good enough employee…the list is endless. I wish more people were real. I read articles about how authentic Christianity is living with other Christians in openness and showing our flaws in order to grow and help others. Yet, most Christians I know, myself included keep guarded lives never revealing their true flaws and struggles at risk of being vulnerable or looking flawed. Sometimes not even to their closest of family members.
Get this, I am flawed. Majorly.
Most days I don’t feel fit to even hold the title of Christian. In fact I don’t even say that I am on Facebook. My profile simply says ‘I love Jesus’. Christian? Me? Sorry. I’m not even slightly worthy of holding that title. I feel a huge weight of guilt to even profess that I might be to people. I don’t have it all together. I am a miserable failure. Most times my prayers simply add up to me just saying a small Thank you to God for people and blessings, if I pray at all. I don’t pray a lot. I feel guilt. Why pray and say I am sorry to God when I know good and well that I am most likely not that sorry, and will probably continue on in my sin? Am I not feeling the huge weight that that sin carries along with it? The fact that Jesus died on the cross sometimes just comes across as a sweet notion. In fact, when I tell my children about it, I also show them that graphic scene from ‘Passion of the Christ‘ so that it really sinks in. Jesus didn’t just sweetly die, he was beaten and tortured and left to suffocate on a wooden cross while people mocked him. All for you and me. Why? I won’t even sometimes do that bare minimum of what makes up Christianity.
As much as I know my identity should be found in Jesus, I deeply struggle with this. I strive so hard every day to be enough for everyone and do all the things I am supposed to do that I tend to loose sight of that. Sometimes I don’t even know who I am or what makes me who I am. I do know that I am on the hamster wheel set up by this world that will never make me enough to anyone no matter how hard I try. Because always in some kind of way I will fail. I grew up being told that in order to even qualify I had to be perfect, which is a recipe for failure. You’ve basically failed before you can even try. Thankfully I stopped believing that. My pastor explained walking with Jesus the best and I will try to interpret it. (Yikes!) That if we are really trying and our hearts are really after the things of God then yes we will still mess up but it is all about continuing on in your walk and in the faith and continuing to strive to do what Jesus taught us. That perfection really isn’t obtainable in our sinful flesh, but more of a completion of our faith with God. We don’t ever give up and just succumb to our sin, we kept on trying even when it’s hard, even when we fail. We get right back up and try again. It’s always just a matter of the heart.
Romans 7:14-25 to 8:1-17 (NIV)
We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives lifebecause of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because ofhis Spirit who lives in you.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba,Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
I’m also a reading failure. It’s the end of the year and I’ve probably read 5 books at the most. Just 20 shy. 😉