For the past three months I’ve been dating a guy who has greatly encouraged me through example to really examine myself and all that I do. As he discusses his mistakes, achievements, goals, and future plans, I begin to look to myself—am I also trying to become better, or have I become complacent on a day-to-day basis? Am I also striving to be sanctified, or am I merely avoiding sin and ultimately being neutral? Am I diligently looking at my faults and seeking ways to improve them, or am I simply accepting the fact that “that’s the way I am”?
For years I’ve been developing into the young woman that I am now, and when I’m thirty I hope that I’ll be shaped into an even better one. But the only way I can expect to improve is to stop hoping people will accept the way I am—although many thankfully do—but rather, strive for righteousness and shed the habits of my old nature.
Though it could be tolerable for me to hide under a blanket when I’m frustrated or embarrassed, it simply is not good. So while I may apologize afterward for running away from my problems, it doesn’t excuse the fact that it’s a habit that must be broken. Instead, I must learn to face the issues at hand and deal with them.
Giving up in situations I deem hopeless and never trying again tends to be another fault. I become adamant in striking down people’s encouragement over certain situations, but this cannot go on forever. Regarding this, I ought to be hopeful, even when the situation grows dim. At times I even wonder why I wouldn’t want to hear encouragement when I’ve given up; I don’t know why I want to stay down.
There are plenty of other disciplines I’m learning and working on, and I’m sure there will be lots more revealed to me as my life unfolds. When these faults seem overwhelming to me, the one thing I ought never do is give up. Christ is sanctifying me and I know my faults are not greater than His power. Though it may be difficult, my old nature will not continue to have as great an influence on me as it has.
“And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again…Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” —2 Corinthians 5:15, 17-21