Wednesday, April 13, 2011

That's Just the way I Am

All of us have personality weaknesses. For example, I am not a naturally patient person, so I could just give myself a pass and say, "That’s just the way I am."

But the Bible teaches me that a fruit of the Spirit is patience, so I can't use my personality weakness as a defense. Rather, I have to work harder at learning to be patient and make it a matter of earnest, daily prayer.

Often people use—"That's just the way I am"—as an excuse for not facing their faults. But until we're willing to look in God's mirror, his Word, and recognize the areas that need improvement, we will keep missing out on God's best for our lives.

What areas in your life have you been excusing or ignoring with this common copout? Is it your sharp tongue? Or your lazy streak? Or your tendency to be late? Whether it's something minor or major, as long as you justify yourself with "That's the way I am, " you'll never have victory in that area of your life.

I encourage you to get rid of the ploy "That's the way I am," and ask God to continue to transform you into the image of Jesus Christ with ever-increasing glory.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Nobody’s Perfect. Right?

Often we say, " Nobody’s perfect. " That's true, but don't you think we sometimes use that as a copout to be less than we could be?

The Bible tells us, "Be holy because I am holy" (Leviticus 19:1-2). If we use the copout "Nobody's perfect" to excuse our less than perfect behavior, our less than acceptable attitudes, our failures and mistakes, we don't take seriously God's call for holy living. But He commands it.

Holy living is a growing process for us. Just as we expect a ten year old to behave better than a two year old, so God expects more of a mature Christian than a new one. But even so, the standard that we are held to is holiness, meaning free of impurity and imperfections.

But the good news is that the One who requires a holy life is the same One who has promised to complete the work he began in us (Philippians 1:6). With the power of God's Spirit dwelling in us, we can come a lot closer to perfection than we ever would think.

I want to encourage all of us to get rid of this copout—"Nobody's perfect"—and adapt a different attitude, namely: "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:13). If we stop telling ourselves that we're not perfect, and instead encourage ourselves to be holy, we'll see some remarkable improvements. Let’s go for it!