When you say that you are a Christian there is a huge pressure from a world that now expects perfection from you. There is a magnifying glass on your life because people are curious what this Jesus thing is about.
Yes we are ambassadors for God, here to shine a light that points to Him BUT, that pressure can have you put unrealistic expectations on yourself. As you are growing in God these sins will each peel off layer by layer like an onion. Though, as long as we’re on this earth we’ll never be sinless.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23-24
Sometimes when you feel like you keep messing up and you feel the pressure of a world who expects you to be perfect just because you’re a Christian, you can end up feeling like a failure who can’t face God, can’t open your Bible, can’t seem to pray like you once did before.
The perfection that the world is looking for can only be found in Jesus. God tells us that we ALL fall short, we ALL sin. But when we accept the sacrifice that Jesus made for us and begin a relationship with our creator, God doesn’t look down and see our mistakes or how many times we fell.
He looks down and sees the righteousness of Jesus. We are as white as snow to him because Jesus took all of our sin past and future and he took the punishment for us.
You don’t have to be perfect, you’re forgiven and free! Live in that freedom, people will see it, even when you aren’t perfect. Give yourself the grace that God abundantly gives.
Why does God say that this tiny bit of faith I have is enough to move mountains? It doesn’t feel like enough to move an ant hill, to be honest.
The Bible says,
“…Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20
Do you ever wonder why it feels like that mustard seed faith just isn’t enough? Or why that other Christian has so much more faith than you? I know I’ve been there too, but I’m beginning to understand how this tiny mustard seed faith IS enough.
When Jesus told the parable about the mustard seed he mentioned this important piece of information:
“Although it is the smallest of all seeds,yet it grows into the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” Matthew 13:32
Though Jesus was speaking of the Kingdom of heaven in this parable, it gives us more details on the mustard seed. Your mustard seed faith is enough because as you walk with God it will grow into a huge tree of faith! It doesn’t stay tiny. Through every trial and every testing of your faith it will grow bigger and bigger.
When you see another Christian who is doing things that would take HUGE faith, just remind yourself that maybe you have a mustard seed while they have a young tree or even a mature tree. If you stay on God’s path and allow each trial to refine you and give you perseverance, you will one day have that mature tree of faith also.
Then you’ll go from moving little ant hills to moving those monstrous mountains!
I thought I was worthless, not outright but deep down inside underneath everything, I really believed I was worthless.
The way I lived and allowed myself to be treated was the proof of how much I really valued myself. Through the hardest time of my life God showed me that everything could be stripped away and I was still worth SO MUCH. That is what this spoken was inspired by.
Have you noticed that the familiarity of your dysfunctional life is easier to stay in than to step out into the change that God has called you to?
You don’t necessarily like what is holding you but it’s comfortable. You know that God has greater things for your life but living it is scary and uncomfortable.
It took a 2 year affair for me to realize that the relationship with my husband was dysfunctional. While I knew that he couldn’t change overnight and that his empty promises were nothing more than EMPTY, I just couldn’t let go. We had been together for 13 years, so it was comfortable. I was frustrated, I was being hurt continually but still, I couldn’t let it go.
It took most of those two years for me to step out into the scary unknown world that God was calling me to. It took the most unbearable pain for me to finally decide that the unknown future was better than my comfortable dysfunction.
Once I stepped out in faith and let my marriage and my husband go into God’s hands, THAT is when the magic happened. That is when I realized that it was the best thing I could have ever done! I can trust God, he wants good for me and leaving that heavy weight on his shoulders made my life so much more bearable… enjoyable even!
No lie, blessing after blessing after blessing just started pouring down once I let it all go. A perfect job beyond my imagination came through, the perfect house IN my kids school district fell into my lap, a reliable car came through in the perfect timing… I felt joy again, my heart began to heal!
After a lot of bitterness, anger and hate, I was finally able to forgive my husband and his mistress. That was so freeing. I was no longer weighed down by those ugly feelings.
Now I look towards my future with joy and anticipation, knowing that God has good things for me. Yes, sometimes it’s scary but God didn’t give me a spirit of fear but of POWER, love and a sound mind.
So I can step out on those things that scare me, knowing that God is holding me through it all. And you know what? Those things are never as scary as they seemed in my mind and the sense of accomplishment after you step out and do them is beyond worth it.
Have FAITH, this change is for GOOD and change doesn’t happen inside your comfort zone. Doing GREAT things for Christ doesn’t happen in your comfort zone. Step out of your comfort zone with the confidence of knowing that God has gone ahead of you and prepared the way!
Loving yourself seems to be a taboo subject in some Christian circles. I understand because when I first learned of the notion to love myself, I kind of scoffed, like, that isn’t godly. It’s because my eyes weren’t opened to the truth of it. All I could see was narcissistic love, being a lover of myself, selfish and only caring about what I could get from others.
This wasn’t the type of love God was trying to show me. He was telling me that self-love is necessary and it’s a completely different thing than being a lover of self. Romans 13:8-10 says:
“Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”
I’ve spoken on this many times before but that one simple word has changed my life. Love your neighbor AS yourself. We’re supposed to love ourselves, it even goes on to say “Love does no wrong to a neighbor.” If you’re loving your neighbor as you love yourself that would mean that you would do no wrong to yourself.
Staying in an abusive relationship is loving the other person MORE than you love yourself. Abuse comes in many forms, physical, verbal and emotional, which includes serial cheaters. If no one has told you before, a man who cheats and lies over and over again IS abusing you!
Cutting yourself is NOT loving yourself, starving yourself is NOT loving yourself, taking on every commitment and never giving yourself time to refuel is NOT loving yourself, enabling abuse against yourself is NOT loving yourself.
Now I’ll cover the difference between self-love and being a lover of self.
- Sees how much you’re worth in God’s eyes
- Creates healthy boundaries with those who hurt you physically and emotionally
- Takes care of your body’s needs, physically, emotionally and spiritually
- Takes breaks when needed; Says “no” to good things to have time for the best things
- Seeks God’s wisdom
- Loves others equally, not treating them as less than yourself while not allowing mistreatment of yourself
LOVER OF SELF
- Puts your wants above the well being of those around you
- Overruns other people’s boundaries to benefit yourself
- Overindulges; No self-control
- Driven by money and the world’s definition of “success”
- Vain; Outer beauty is more important than inner
- Inflated ego
- Sees others as inferior
- Boasts in themselves
2 Timothy 3:1-17 says:
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people…”
At the end of the day being a “lover of self” isn’t really love at all. They aren’t loving themselves or anyone else around them. They have an emptiness inside that they’re trying to fill with all the wrong things.
But, self-love is a whole other thing. IT’S OK to love yourself! God see’s you as worthy of love and YOU ARE. So start seeing yourself in that light, God’s light.