It is much easier to run away from chaos and difficult situations then to face up to the challenge and the unknown. Whenever there is a conflict or fight going on between me and another person, the first thing that happens to me is I am filled with fear and anxiety, and then I run. I run away from the angry, unsmiling expressions and the fear of rejection and rebuke of others. Often rather than talking through issues, I flee from the pain only to be entrapped in the cords of guilt hanging like a heavy blanket weighing me down.

For me, it is hard to admit that I am a sinner. Sure, I say often to others that I am a sinner. But this is merely in the sense that like everyone else, I make mistakes and am human. But in my heart, I view my sins as merely human mistakes, as if I have no responsibility for them; as if my sins are okay. But God is serious about sin.

I think that God is teaching me to see myself as truly sinful, and in need of his grace. Sinful not simply in the mistakes that I make and those that have become acceptable to others, but deeply and awfully messy. I worry about almost anything and everything and refuse to trust God with my anxieties, I am blinded by my desire to feel loved and constantly strive for perfection that I cannot attain, I judge myself and others by harsh rules that only weigh me down.

Through it all, God is there. He says in 1 Peter 5:7 to come to him with all our burdens because he cares about us. Can you imagine? All of our questions, our doubts, our anxieties, worries, and deepest longings and fears. He is a big and mighty God who cares for us and is strong enough to carry all of our burdens and to take them to the cross. Because he takes everything, we can live freely. But this amazing grace is all about him. He is the one who cared for us, the one who hears and carries our burdens to the cross, who heals us and sets us free. So truly it is all about him and by looking to him, is how I, how we truly live freely.

Living freely looks like loving ourselves even when we sin, just as Christ did and always does. It looks like seeking God for help and looking to Him as our example. It looks like praying for His Spirit and love to wash over us; truly He is good.

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