Monday, October 24

Progress, Not Perfection

Read Psalm 25:4-21

Written by Ashley K. for Drops 

The roof of the church will not cave in when sinners enter. I understand that it is easy to feel like a fraud when you sit at church and you have sinful issues. Additionally, it’s hard not to notice Betty Sue sitting in the front row in her perfect dress with her perfect husband, her well behaved children, her well timed head nods and “I haven’t seen you in church in a while...” comments. Feelings of inadequacy will surely rise. 

The ladies that began this devotional seem to have an endless supply of spiritual wisdom. Me on the other hand, I’m a baby Christian. Perhaps, I’ve graduated to a tween Christian. Either way, I was intimidated when they first asked me to contribute to this devotional. Who am I to offer advice on how to be a Godly woman? For starters, a pregnancy outside of marriage, check. Divorced, check. Colorful expletives, check. An often absent prayer life, check. Sucker for TV shows I know I shouldn’t be watching, check. An attitude that gets me into trouble, check. Shall I go on?

I attended my first Women of Faith conference this year. I wasn’t expecting for two of the speakers to get up and talk about their failed marriages, the low self esteem and depression they experienced as a result of it, and the spiritual revival that eventually changed their lives. They had my attention. These women weren’t perfect either. They were up there delivering their testimonies and preaching God’s love. He took their darkest days and made a divine purpose for it all. They were there as perfect examples of His mercy and grace.

 "Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 

 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” 

(Romans 7:24-25) 

[Insert sigh of relief] 

I’m not a fraud. God uses my mistakes to minister to others. I’m bringing glory to Him by exposing my imperfections. “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (1 Corinthians 12:10)

I hear a lot, “I can’t go to church, the building will probably catch fire the second I walk in.” Why is it that we feel like our sins are too big and too scary for God? He has seen it all! Envy, check. Adultery, check. Lust, check. Addiction, check. Murder, check. And guess what, He loves us anyway! If we stop and listen to Him for a second, we’d probably hear Him say, “I don’t care what you have done, you belong with me.”

If you are feeling broken and sinful, church is the exact place you need to be. Don’t wait until you have it all together to get back in that pew. Seriously, how irritating are those people that try to project flawlessness? Don’t be like that! Just remember, you are never too shameful or dirty to approach God.

Jesus was not too good to associate with thieves, liars, and prostitutes. He roamed this earth to deliver good news to all. He was not impressed with verbose prayers or large offerings. He saw the heart and the sacrifice. And that is what God is looking for from you. Take the first step in renewing your relationship with Christ.

Get up and get to church, make an appointment with your pastor, open up your Bible, or whisper a sincere prayer. God doesn’t expect you to be perfect here on earth, He is saving that kind of splendor for when we eternally unite with Him in heaven.

 “Guard my life and rescue me; do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. 

 May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, Lord, is in you.” 

 (Psalm 25 20-21)


Christa Forsythe said...

Beautiful words... spoken from one who grasps the true essence of grace... thanks... none of us have arrived... and daily we must choose to abide!

The Drakes said...

my friend who went to the conference told me that one of the speakers talked about embracing the women around you who don't have it all together and running from the ones who do - the first ones will give you more grace. my friend said she was the one with the problems in our relationship, but i'm pretty sure she was recognizing mine too and she still wants to be around me! for that i'm thankful. and i'm thankful for you, my friend. your sincerity is so magnetic and encouraging. preach sister!