Actually, very well. So, let’s look at that for a little bit.
in my humble opinion, one of the biggest hindrances to true “growth in God” and with each other is the attempt to appear perfect before God and each other.
The thing is…
We have often disguised this quest by wearing robes that we perceive as spiritual, expected, and accepted by God and our peer group.
This attitude displays itself in many interesting ways. Not the least of these is taking insights (fresh revelation on some truth) that was meant to produce freedom, and turning it into hard and fast rules of spiritual conduct. Ie: This is the right way to pray….resist the devil….make my confession…etc.
The truth is…
The most mature of us [especially in our own eyes] are pretty much a “hot mess” if we really want to be honest about it and accurately compare ourselves to … well … even our own standards of “belief” that we constantly fail to perform.
We’re still afraid of God [in the wrong way] as well as each other. Respect is one thing. A distorted meaning of fear is another.
The fact is…
We’re harder on ourselves than God ever will be! That’s not to say that “good fruit” isn’t important. It is. I want it. You want it. Any moral person cares about producing good fruit.
I believe it’s so important for us to realize that the good fruit we desire is a product of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We are a very needy people. We are dust, in ourselves. God knows it.
Being dust isn’t an excuse to hide behind for impropriety. It’s a realization that causes the person of truth to draw deeply from the wells of salvation. What I mean by that isn’t…
…simply drawing on His promise of forgiveness. Forgiveness is a foundational fact, but…
Drawing water from the wells of salvation is consciously drawing, by faith, upon the grace of His life within. We aren’t called to pretend to be Jesus. We are privileged, through new birth, to have full access to His heart and motivations.
Praying the “right prayers” has very little to do with it. By right prayers, I mean those that include everything but the kitchen sink to make sure our bases are covered. More often than not, those are “religious activities” based on fear and frustration, not Holy Spirit inspiration or direction.
I remember the testimony of Mel Tari, an Indonesian man and author of “Like a Mighty Wind.” One day Mel was on a flight that had encountered a great deal of turbulence. A co-worker in the seat next to him said, “Brother Mel, we must pray real hard.” To that Mel said, “No, brother, I am going to pray real easy. Jesus is already with us.”
My encouragement for you today is that you realize you are likely a “hot mess” of inconsistency, lack of maturity, and left over religiosity.” God knows that. He’s okay with that if He sees a heart that is also a “hot mess” for Him. Otherwise he never would have honored King David as a man after His own heart.
Embrace reality. Embrace your imperfections. Embrace His love and power that works on your behalf. Fear of what God and others think is fatiguing. Just connect to Him with words like…
“Good morning, Lord! I’m a hot mess for You today. I look to Your perfection to be My perfection, today. Help me to respond to my life with all that is contained in Your life. And, I receive that by faith in Your work within me. Amen.”
Do you struggle with the issue of perfection and fear of what God and others think? It would be cool for you to share your observations by replying or commenting 🙂