A friend, who is a Pastor’s wife, told of a young couple who had come to their church and during the service accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. My friend said they knew the young couple were from disadvantaged upbringings and had many hardships. Aware of the couple’s background, she and her pastor husband rejoiced, even more, knowing that Jesus would enrich their lives.
The following week, my friend saw the young couple at church and asked the wife how they were doing. The young woman answered, “We got saved last week but it didn’t take.”
“It didn’t take? What do you mean, it didn’t take?”
The young woman replied, “You know, it didn’t take. A few days later we were cussing again.”
The couple must have thought that being “saved” or accepting Christ into their hearts would automatically change and transform them into perfect people. Perhaps they thought they would no longer face temptation, or at least, be able to resist sin at all times.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2).
Becoming a believer is the beginning of a life-changing and life-long learning process. We remain in the flesh faced with temptation and still stumble at times. God created us and gave us free will to choose to love Him. Not a forced love – that of a heart and mind of a robot. We aren’t perfect and He instructs us to stay close to Him.
Like anyone in love, we don’t want to disappoint. That’s where as believers we realize just how imperfect we are, and often become impatient and disappointed in ourselves. We can’t learn fast enough and know enough about Him and His word. Worse, often it seems we just can’t get it right. The disappointment in ourselves builds.
At least, that how it’s been for me. When I was a new believer, Paul quickly became my favorite apostle. I could really, really identify with Apostle Paul. Like Paul, I wanted to please God and had the best intentions only to be disappointed when I couldn’t overcome temptation.
When I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. (Romans 7:21-25).
I’ve now been a believer for years and that scripture still brings me tremendous comfort. Apostle Paul was in Jesus glorious presence…Paul was with Jesus. If Paul, of great faith, struggled against evil, shouldn’t we expect struggle? He admits imperfection, shouldn’t we?
Admitting imperfection is not an excuse to sin. As Christians we strive to lead a life centered on Christ – not one of sin. We must periodically ask ourselves, what is our pattern? Is it of sin, is it the same sin? To receive grace, we must acknowledge our sin, and turn from it. God warns he will not be mocked or deceived.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Ariel Gentry