It’s a common misconception that because someone is a “Christian”, a “born again believer”, a “________”, whatever you want to call those of us who have a relationship with Jesus Christ, that we are perfect. That we are trying to be perfect. That we are holding others to a standard of perfect.
I loathe that word when it is used to describe a person.
: having no mistakes or flaws
: completely correct or accurate
: having all the qualities you want in that kind of person, situation, etc.
I’m not perfect. I will never be perfect while I’ve got breath in my lungs. I will never know anyone else who can hang this description on their hat. Ever.
In fact…sometimes…I cuss.
We (Christians) are here to point others towards Christ. To share what He offers. To tell the news that their creator wants a one on one relationship with them.
This should come naturally in our every day living. We do this through our actions and our attitudes. We do this through our reactions.
In our work places. At our family gatherings. At our dentist appointments. When we buy a car. In the grocery store line. When we rock our babies. As we discipline our children. While we love our spouses. When we greet the UPS guy at the door. As we sit in traffic.
“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
This is where the rubber meets the road.
“…what the heart is full of.”
You and I have most of the control over what we fill ourselves with. Most, because we cannot avoid the billboards with scantily clad women and the bosses who manage with control and anger. Most, because we cannot predict what language will come out of our new friend’s mouth or the pessimistic attitude of someone that we may even live with.
So, how do you and I store up good things in our hearts?
We are proactive. We are intentional. We set goals. We make good choices.
We read books with a good take away message. We listen to music that reminds us how blessed we are. We surround ourselves, the best we can, with people who are encouraging and uplifting. We hang out with truth talkers-people who will not just agree with everything we want to do or say, but will speak up and correct us if we are heading in the wrong direction.
We spend time outdoors, soaking up God’s creation.
We listen to pastors who speak God’s word along with practical application for living.
We talk to God (prayer) and read His word.
I’ve learned over time that the “do’s” and “don’ts” in the Bible are there for our good!
His directives…they’re not there to make us perfect. They’re not there to make us feel like children. They’re not there to make us feel like we can’t measure up and never will.
They are there to teach us about His grace. They are there to move us into the plans He has for us. They are there to keep us inside of boundaries where there is safety, freedom and purpose.
Yes, even inside of boundaries, there is freedom!
So even though the Bible tells me not to, why do I sometimes cuss?
Because I’m human! I’m a normal person just like anyone else!
It’s not often that something slips, but, I don’t mind admitting that sometimes it just happens.
It’s important that you know that there is no one perfect. If striving for perfectionism is our main goal here on earth, we are going to be sorely disppointed in ourselves. Over and over and over.
What we should be striving for is simply more of God.
More time with Him. More of His presence. More understanding of His word.
If we have a one on one relationship with Him, and we are doing our part to get to know Him more, the rest will work itself out.
We don’t become sinless. We don’t become perfect.
But, our hearts will fill to overflowing with more good than bad.
More love, less hate.
More optimism, less pessimism.
More inclusion, less exclusion.
More mercy, less mercilessness.
More patience, less rage
More joy, less sadness.
More purpose, less indirection.
More calmness, less cussing
Let’s try it.
1. Admit we are not perfect (aren’t we all ready to see more authenticity and less acting in ourselves and others? Can I get an amen!)
2. Acknowledge that God’s plan for us has boundaries, and they’re for our good.
3. Choose to at least try things His way.
4. Celebrate our successes-because when we do things His way-success always follows!
Let’s take our focus off of the thing we want out of our life, and put that time and energy into what’s good. Holy. Right.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Let’s see if filling ourselves with what is good won’t push out that thing which is bad.
Yeah, sometimes I cuss, but I’m working on it.
What will you fill yourself with today? How will you proactively strive to fill up with good instead of that which is bad?
Praying for you all,