I may be the queen of reverting back to my old ways.
I wonder, will I ever go a day without completely messing something up? Or saying words I shouldn’t? Or doing what I know better not to do?
Perfection for me is doubtful this side of eternity.
Take for example earlier this week. My husband and I were at our nieces’ softball game. The first base umpire made an incorrect call by calling our player out when she clearly beat the ball to the base. The already-agitated crowd erupted. One side cheered in agreement. Our side protested in disapproval. I found myself in familiar game-induced excitement, and because so, I reacted by joining our side, standing up, pointing my finger, and yelling loudly, “She was safe! That’s a terrible call!”
I continued with our crowd, voicing loudly a few more disapproving thoughts. But, something made me look at my husband next to me. He was calmly still in his seat. Disapproving, but doing it quieter. Unlike his (supposedly) loving, Christian wife. Yeah, nice huh? I was convicted and sat down.
If you’ve read my posts for any period of time or if you know me well, you’re probably well aware this isn’t the first time I’ve gotten caught up in the moment during my son’s/daughter’s/nieces’/nephews’ sporting events. Seriously. It’s ridiculous. And, I know better.
I’m living proof that Christians are not perfect.
Even though I read my Bible and I pray. Even though I love God and love people. Yes, even as I try to do good daily and follow Jesus. I continue to mess up. I continue to revert back to my old ways. It’s no secret I’m still a work in progress and God has His hands full when it comes to me.
This reminds me of what the apostle Paul wrote about himself in Romans:
I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. Romans 18-20 MSG
Yes, Paul. I’m right there with you. I want to do good, but I don’t really do it. Anyone else in this boat with Paul and me? Do you find yourself reverting back to old habits, prior behavior, former ways? It’s frustrating and exasperating and discouraging, isn’t it?
So, what hope do we have?
Will it always be this way, no matter what we do and how hard we try? The only answer I have are Paul’s words. He continues in verses 24 and 25 (MSG):
I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question? The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.
My only hope in conquering my old ways is Jesus.
No, I probably won’t ever see perfection this side of eternity, but Jesus continues to work in me through situations like this one. I’m grateful He used my husband’s calm example to save me from making a complete spectacle of myself. Maybe next time my old ways won’t get the best of me? Only by the grace of God.
So, be encouraged, friend. Thankfully, there is hope for us who revert back to our old ways. No matter how many times we mess up, we can take comfort in knowing we’re not alone in this battle. Daily, may we give ourselves over to Jesus and ask Him to change us, to mold us, to help us be the men and women He desires for us to be.
Thank you for continuing to journey through life with this not-so-perfect Iowa girl.
Linking this post with friend Suzie.
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