When I dress up and try to look like a real adult at conferences, and then I speak about all of my ideals and commitments passionately, it would be so easy for me to give the illusion that I am a perfect person who has finally reached maturity and rarely ever sin. However, when I return home from a great conference like the one in the Woodlands last weekend, I still have to live in my home with myself. And myself is still sinful and selfish at heart and in the midst of grand ideals, I can still stumble and trip over the most menial of issues--like traffic or a crowded seat on the plane, or a night without sleep.
Like the beast in the fairy tale, though he was really a prince in position, he was a beast on the inside. And his inside self came to the outside.
Thank the Lord that will never happen to me. I don't think I would feel comfortable having everyone in the world see all of the darkness or pettiness lurking inside my soul, after all, I am still in process.
I just wanted to put it out there. All of us struggle and wrestle within. If it wasn't for my children, I would be so much more holy. It's those unreasonable in-laws. The people who have hurt me the most are those Christians in my church who were mean-spirited and have been so critical of me (or my children.) Or, if my supposed Christian husband would actually act in a loving way, we would have such a good marriage. Or my family doesn't agree with my Christian ideals, or If the pastor at our church wasn't so unloving or judgmental, If, if, if.......we think and say, and we all have some of these issues, and it is the Christian ones that make me crazy and yet, it is normal life in a fallen world.
We all live in this broken place--this is the place separated from perfect love, perfect grace. It is not wrong to feel anger or depression or discouragement or deep fear or hate. You are not an unattractive personality or person if you feel these things--do not listen to the lie that it is all your fault, as that only leads to despair and hopelessness.
But, it is what we do with all of these feelings. You are not a bad person for being immature or even for feeling anger at the stress another sinful person brings to you. But how you live by faith in the next moments, how you speak to your brain--if you take every thought captive--make it a prisoner--will determine if you will become more free, more loving, more filled with grace and compassion or if you will become a victim of the darkness of living in a sinful world. What you do with your thoughts determines what you become captivated by.
But, it is also best to not allow the "bad" people in your life to define you. You cannot make immature people mature. You cannot control how they behave. But you can control your own heart--and that is the foundation of your whole being--not what you do--but what you think and cherish and practice inside of you--in your heart where the beast lives.
Remember who you are: You are forgiven. You are royalty in the eyes of God. You are not your past--the old things have past away, all things have become new.
It was for freedom that Christ set you free, therefore do not be subject to a yoke of slavery.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.
There is therefore nothing that can separate you from the love of God.
Walk in your newness. Live in your beauty-you have the imprint of a master artist on your soul. Throw off the people in your life who would steal your joy and bring His light into your darkness.
Spiritual maturity is a process of becoming mature one tiny step, one day at a time. We are all in process until we see Him face to face. Thank goodness he allows me to be the toddler that I am, but He keeps loving me and bringing me forward.
All is grace. All is forgiven. All is new.