I am writing this to anyone who identifies themselves as a “Christian”. We, as Christians, need to learn to walk in the Spirit. As we grow and mature in the Lord, we should become more Christ-like in our character. Unfortunately, Christianity often gets a bum reputation because of what unbelievers see in us. Some Christians proclaim one thing and walk in a totally different way. Let me be clear to anyone reading this…NOBODY is perfect and even mature Christians mess up and need to repent of doing things that are not Christ-like. I have certainly messed up, even as someone who has been a Christian for almost 50 years. Thank God for His mercy and forgiveness when we truly repent! However, as we grow in the Lord, we should be walking closer to the Lord and becoming more like Him in the way that we think, speak and act. In short, unbelievers should see a difference in us.
What some might consider things that are for super mature Christians, are actually for even young Christians. If you read Matthew chapters 5-7, the way that Jesus tells us to live was the FIRST thing that Jesus taught. We call it the “sermon on the Mount.” It was the foundational teaching on how we should live. He did NOT teach that to people who had been walking with Him and living for Him for many, many years and were seasoned, mature Christians but He taught it to new believers. It is not for Super-Christians but should be the basics for all believers….Christianity 101!
I challenge ALL of us to read, re-read and meditate on Matthew chapters 5-7 and have a spiritual check-up on how we are doing with the basics of Christianity. If we are missing it, we need to repent and ask the Lord for His help to live in a way that is pleasing to Him and a witness to unbelievers!
I posted the following on Facebook one year ago:
I have been a Christian for over 47 years now and I thank God for His love, mercy and grace throughout the years. For anyone who does not know this, being a Christian does not mean that we have arrived and are walking in perfection. Some people who are not Christians are quick to point that out as a reason to not have anything to do with Christianity. However, for anyone who has done that, don’t judge a perfect God by His imperfect people! If you are a Christian and judge other Christians because they sin in other ways than you do, stop that! ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God! We should be praying for each other.
I will be quick to admit that I am far from perfect and have made some bad choices in my life which took me wondering down a wrong path for awhile. The great news is that once we realize we are on the wrong path, if we genuinely repent, God not only forgives us but He FORGETS our sins! God is AMAZING! HE is perfect so He is the ONLY one who would have a right to judge us but He forgives and forgets!
In my case, I have always been my harshest judge! Even after I repent for bad decisions that resulted in sin (anything that pulls our attention from God and what He wants for us) , I have continued to lament those decisions and condemn myself. Satan wants to keep us down by reminding us of our imperfections even after we repent. Satan is the accuser of the brethren and he wants to keep us from what God has for us. The Christian singer Carmen says that whenever the devil reminds him of his past, he reminds the devil of his (the devils’) future! In my case though, I have been a harsher judge of myself than satan has. The funny thing about this is one of my main spiritual giftings from God is mercy! I have no problem extending mercy to others but it is different when I need to show myself some! Our judgment of ourselves can hold us down and back from what God has for us. This morning I was thinking about times I have missed God and He spoke to me to “Get over it!” With God’s help, I will extend the same mercy to myself that I extend to others and learn from it!
What I have learned is that ALL failure is a prayer and relationship failure! When we become distracted and our one on one time with the Lord diminishes, we are opening ourselves up to deception and sin. Satan does not come to us and tell us to commit a sin because we would recognize that was wrong and not do it. What he does is try to distract us with things that will steal our time with the Lord and hinder our relationship with God slowly. This can even be done by seemingly good things like ministry. We can get so busy with ministering to others that we lack in our time ministering to the Lord and letting God minister to us! We need to watch out for anything that starts taking our focus off of the Lord and make sure that God truly comes FIRST in our lives!