I have made the choice to surround myself with everything about Jesus. If you go to my facebook page you will see scripture after scripture. You will see quotes on encouragement and living the Christian life. Each day I write about my walk with Christ. I share the blessings and the struggles before me. I have my Bibles surrounding me at home. Some are open and others I have placed in places where they always catch my vision. But as I do this I am anything but perfect. I am not trying to put on a show and have others think I'm something I'm not. I am a girl who loves Jesus and is living each day trying to bring glory and honor to Him. Most days I struggle in this area. How about you? After all, aren't we real?
I have days where I don't pick up my Bible. There are Sundays that I choose to stay in bed. I get angry. I say things I shouldn't. Ugh..there are days where curse words seem to roll off my tongue with ease. I get caught up in gossip just like the person sitting next to me in my pew. I have a past and I live with regret. I look back on my life and clearly see where Jesus was present and the times I pushed Him out of the way because I thought I knew the road before me better than He.
For me, this doesn't make me less of a Christian. Can you really be less or more of a Christian? I'm not so sure. We seem to judge one an other's walk on what we see before us. We are always searching for fruit present in the lives of those around us, but not everyone shows all they do for Christ so all can see. Some are quiet about their work. The ministry before them. But there on that day you make the wrong choice is someone standing in judgement. "Hm, I knew she wasn't a Christian." Sound familiar?
What about those days when no one is looking? What about that car ride to church? That late night when your child doesn't come home on time? That car that cuts you off and almost causes a great accident before your eyes? We all falter in our steps, so why do we try to keep those hidden from view? We walk in church like we are the perfect family. Nothing is wrong in our lives. Everything is great. For me, this makes me sad. Is this where those in the world see Christians as hypocrites? Is this where some get the idea that we think we are better than others? Why can't we just be real? In us being real, I think we can make a much greater impact for Christ. People need to see us in our struggles and see us turn to Christ for inspiration and encouragement. They need to see us live real lives. Christianity isn't a show. It's a walk. A way of life. We have nothing to be ashamed of as long as we are trying with all our heart to follow Him.
Jesus knows my heart. He sees what others do not see. He sees me at my weakest point and when I am basking in joy. He sees those texts and listens to my phone calls. He sees me deep in the night and during the day light hours when others are around me. He knows what music plays on my radio and what movies I watch. Again, Jesus, knows my heart.
He knows that each day I am determined to live for Him. He sees me make decisions, right or wrong. I have learned I cannot live my day for others. I cannot search for acceptance in others. I am not going to find the encouragement in others that I need so very much. Every day I hear Him calling me closer to Him. He knows I'm not perfect. He knows each and every area I struggle in daily.
We are a work in progress. We can never forget that, especially when we look at others. There is no great and small in God's eyes. We are His children. Children He is cheering on to succeed in life. Not success as the world sees it, but success in faith and service. Success in being the child of God He has created me to be. Even when I make a mistake, I am to brush myself off and get right back up again. He doesn't want us to stay down. He wants to see us soar and soar for Him. This is how others are going to come to know Christ as their Savior. Not through perfect people. Not through people putting on a show, but real, down to earth people, who make mistakes. Those very people that live with a past and have regrets. In our trying to be perfect we lose Christ somewhere along the way and our walk becomes about us, not Him.
Are you struggling at this very moment? Maybe your holding in anger issues that have not be settled yet. Hurts that you are wearing like a winter coat. Jealous thoughts about those around you. Judging instead of giving grace. Our hearts bleed and sometimes it's hard to stop the flow. I encourage you to lay all your struggles before God today. Give Him all those things that are tripping you up along the way. Those folks who judge you and talk about you behind your back. Give it all to Jesus today and allow Him to empty you of your regrets. Allow Him to wash you with His grace and cover you with His mercy. His love is wide and far reaching.
Our mistakes are not the end of the world. Jesus can take ash and turn it into beauty. But first we must be honest before everyone. In sharing with others, it gives those around us encouragement to share. Pretty soon, the grace of God is being wrapped around us and He comes alive through our lives. Take off that mask of perfection today and be real to those around you, allowing them to see Christ alive in your life as you seek to serve the One who came to give you life.
"I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them."
"But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7
"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."