Beliefnet
A Simple Life, a Childlike Faith

Dear Math,

I’m not a therapist. 

Solve your own problems.

____________________________________

I’m amazed at how often I’m working against myself.  Yesterday and today, I wasted more than $20 because I had to make three trips to a neighboring town, 20 miles away.  My mission was to deliver the masters of our monthly letter, Connecting Point to The Special Gathering corporate office.  The Special Gathering is a ministry within the mentally challenged community.  Our purpose is evangelism and discipleship.  I love doing this task but I hated wasting two hours and all that money.

To be honest, I really wanted to be angry with someone else–anyone else.  However, the truth was that I was the person who forgot the front sheet that I’d agreed to format.  I was the one who had not remembered to bring mailing labels with the newsletter masters.

How does admitting my own faults fit into my Christian beliefs and an authentic life lived for Christ?  Yet, too often, I refuse to take the blame when I’ve failed or sin; and then I live with debilitating hidden guilt for years.

We currently live in a society where the emphasis is on self-love and self-acceptance.  I’ve taught the importance of knowing the God loves us enough to die for us.  Therefore, we must love ourselves.  However, therein lies a ticklish balancing act between loving the person that God has redeemed and recognizing that I’m a person who fails and needs repentance almost every day.

What is the solution?  Paul gives us some pretty good advice.  “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” he told us.  Yes.  We have heard this again and again; but we often equate this truth to people who are not committed to the Lord–not me.  Then we are read that if we confess our sins, God is faithful to forgive our sins.

This sounds a bit too simplistic for most of us.  Therefore, because we are dealing with our own egos, paralyzing guilt and our fallen Adamic nature, things become complicated.  When my children were smaller and I was attempting to teach them, I learned the value of loosing the guilt from my heart by repentance and receiving God’s forgiveness as a daily discipline.

Even though, I seem to lose my way in my own selfishness more times than I care to think about, there is still great wisdom in remembering that Jesus loves me.  As the songwriter has said, “He would rather die, than live without me.”  These comforting words reassure me that his love extends toward me, making repentance so simple that even my own ego cannot mess it up.

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