I’m going to start this post by saying, I am not a perfect man and I never claim to be. I have hard enough time accepting the compliment when people tell me I’m a really good or great guy, because every time someone says this to me, I immediately think of all the things that could say otherwise: the mistakes I’ve made, the sins I’ve committed, the opportunities to do even greater Good that are lost by my action or inaction. I fully recognize that most people at this point will encourage me, some might try by saying something like: “But, Aric! Everyone makes mistakes, it doesn’t mean you’re a horrible person!”And they would be right, it would mean I’m just a person and that’s kind of the point I’m trying to make. I am just like other people, I’m human. I’ve had some time to reflect on my imperfections, some of which help define who I am right now in my life. My last post had a discussion of righteousness being like riding a bike. Well, I recognize that despite knowing how to ride, I’ve stumbled a few times, my foot has slipped off the pedal killing the forward momentum; I may have even fallen completely off the bike a couple of times this summer, but I have gotten up, I have climbed back on the bike and pushed off again heading to where I know I’m supposed to go. That’s the important  thing, getting back up after  you’ve fallen. And yet, there’s more we can do from that moment: we learn from falling, we learn so that we do not fall the same way again. Though a wise man learns from the foolishness of others, the only way a fool can become wise is to learn from his foolishness. Sometimes a child has to touch the hot stove for him/her to finally learn what he/she has already been told countless times. It’s a shame that it sometimes takes that experience of pain for learning to happen, but it’s pure foolishness for that experience of pain to happen without ever learning from it.

This all being said, I know that I am a work in progress. When people tell me of my goodness, I hope that they see that it’s not my goodness, but the goodness of Christ who lives in me. I’ve done a lot a growing in the past few years and by growth, ironically, I mean the growth of the Spirit in me as I continue to deny myself so that He might be more evident in my life. It’s a weird conundrum: the more I deny myself, the more I find myself in Christ. Over the course of the years, I’ve noticed, among many other things, the way I respond to sin in my life has changed. At one point in my life, not too long ago really, I let the guilt and shame of my sin hold me back….while I continued to repeat the sin. Now, when sin is committed, there is shame and guilt, but of a completely different nature. It motivates me to move even closer to God so that I do not fall into the cycle that used to be my life. Christ has already taken away my shame and guilt, so when I feel those emotions, I give them back to Him. I live for Him and there is not enough room for those emotions to dwell if I am living in Christ and He in me. Yet, I learn from them when they do happen. They teach me about how the fall happens in my life and how to get back up and push forward so that I do not fall like that again. As my desires are transformed by Christ, so are my actions and vice versa: as my actions are transformed by Christ, so are my desires. It’s a growth and the more I grow, the more clearly I can see what work there is still to do in my life. My mistakes, my slip-ups, my sins, they happen in my life, but they are not my life. My life is a continual pursuit of God and His righteousness, not for my sake, but for His glory. I may stumble, I may fall, but the journey continues…

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