Filed under: My Life...
I saw a quote today that really jumped out at me. Augusten Burroughs said, “I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.”
I think this has incredible spiritual application whether or not it was written by a Christian. It could easily read: “ I myself am, in my flesh, a sinner, stitched together with God’s grace.” Paul writes in Romans 7:18: “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh”, but it is through God’s grace that He give us his Spirit so that we don’t have to live as a servant to our own worldly desires, which lead to nothing good.”
I thought about the strange similarities between the quote and Romans 7:18-25 (in The Message):
For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes… 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.
It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I am my own worst critic. I know the me that no one else knows and I’m glad that’s the case. I don’t know if “they” would look at me the same way if they “really” knew me. I sometimes use “Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves…” (Romans 12:3) as a crutch. I feel like being honest in my evaluation of myself means being extra hard on myself for the things I do and think that no one else sees.
Please don’t feel bad for me, thinking I have super low self esteem… I may be harder on myself than you would be, or maybe than I deserve, but I also know that in order to go in your strengths, you must first know your weaknesses. In “The Art of War” Chapter 6 discusses weak & strong points. It explains how your opportunities come from the openings in the environment caused by the relative weakness of your competitors in a given area. If that’s true, then it is all the more important to know your own weaknesses in order to properly guard against attack, not only from our physical enemies, but from THE enemy.
I think one key to, not only overcoming temptation but, living a health Christian life, is to recognize when, where, and why the enemy tends to attack you when he does. If you know that you’re more likely to fall into a particular sin when in a certain situation, you’d be a fool to put yourself there on purpose. Sometimes, the enemy tends to line things up so that we “fall” into those compromising situations without thinking. If we can recognize the enemy taking us down those roads early on, we have less space to backtrack. Think of it this way: The sooner you realize you’re lost and have gone the wrong way, the sooner you can find where you’re supposed to be and get back on track. The longer you go down the wrong road, the longer it takes you to get back on track.
I recently read an article entitled, “10 Reasons I Don’t Like Most Christians” (which you can read here) and I thought it would be healthy to give out my own 10 reasons. Not the 10 reasons I don’t like most Christians, but the 10 worst traits I have. I’ll give you the disclaimer now that these are things that I, personally, see, not things that most people would necessarily see or assume me.
Stuart’s 10 Worst Traits
- I tend to judge books by their cover.
- I take people at their word.
- I’m honest (this is bad when #4 happens).
- I fail to think a statement through before it comes out my mouth.
- I procrastinate.
- I doubt if I’ve heard God for real.
- I limit God because I fail to have the faith to step out like He would want me to.
- I have unrealistic expectations.
- I’m stubborn.
- I’m too hard on myself.
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