I consider myself a truthful person. If anything, at times I lean toward the side of truth-telling to a fault. I get the “speak the truth” part of Ephesians 4:15 but sometimes I could go heavier on the “in love” aspect of the verse. (“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” Ephesians 4:15) I’ve been working on this.
So, it surprised me this week when I realized just how much I run and hide when I make a mistake, and all the subtle ways we allow ourselves to do so. Do we, in a backwards way, believe we need to fix our problem first, then go for help?
We Try to Fix Ourselves First, Then Go For Help
See if any of these sound familiar:
“Once I get my eating back on track and lose these 5 lbs I gained, then I’ll go back to Weight Watchers.”
“After I get caught up on these reports, then I’ll go talk to my boss about how overwhelmed I am with my workload.”
“Life with our family is so crazy. Once we get things ironed out a bit, then we can start going back to church again.”
Let me just fix myself a little bit first. Then I’ll be worthy enough to ask for help.
How Grace Works
In our Faithful Finish Lines online faith and fitness program, one of our foundational beliefs is that we treat ourselves and others with absolute grace. Treating others with grace is acceptable, but treating ourselves with grace when we mess up proves to be difficult. We find when we mess up, we tend to want to hide. We quit posting to the community group. We quit reading the emails of encouragement.
Guilt settles in hard and deep.
As I was chatting with one of our spiritually wise members (Asheritah at One Thing Alone), she shared this with me (please allow my paraphrase), “I believe in Jesus and know He died for me, but somehow to fully accept ‘grace’ feels like a cop-out. As a Christian, shouldn’t I have discipline over my behaviors and my life?”
Grace is not a cop-out. Will there be consequences for our negative behaviors? Yes. But God in His goodness will help us handle those, even. Grace extends a hand and says, “Come out of hiding.”
Grace extends a hand and says, “Come out of hiding.”
How to Fix It
The only way to fix it is to come out of hiding. The truth may be painful, but it’s the only way. It won’t be as bad as we think.
Admit the mistake. Ask for forgiveness. Let’s own our stuff. I’m going to work on doing it. Shall we do it together?
How do we become stronger people? We don’t get better first, and then come to God. God comes to us, saves us, and then fills us with the Holy Spirit. Because of the Holy Spirit, we are able to live a disciplined life. He fixes me for me.
Let’s come out into the light of Christ’s forgiveness. Our lives are waiting.
How have you been hiding in mistakes? Are you ready to come into the light of Jesus’s love and forgiveness?