I write this one as I sit stewing in a pot of disappointment and unmet expectation. I talk a good game and with the help of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I walk a decent one despite this henh flesh but sometimes…sometimes the “real slim shady” stands up and clowns. The flesh wrestles me down. And I gotta start over. Again. For the 10,000th time.
The process be doing too much some days.
True story: I hate failing at things. Now, as a teacher this serves me well. I know that feeling kids feel, and it helps me figure out how to easy I need to ease into the struggle of learning new things. But as my regular-degular self? I be dying. Weeping. Gnashing teeth. I never grace myself the way I do my students. The condemnation and frustration be REALLY REAL.
This hard on a human like me. I grew up with a mind mired in the mentality of perfectionism equaling positioning for love. That’s right. You heard me right. I felt that I needed to be perfect to receive love. Yeah, you can clutch pearls or what have you, but those of us with abandonment issues struggle with stuff like this: our perception of love can become tied to the need to “prove” that we are in fact WORTHY of it. We become people pleasers, folks who take on more than we need to, workhorses, no boundaries when it comes to time and commitment. We will show you how worthy and wonderful we are, prove to you the masterpiece of perfection that is our excellent output.
But I digress.
Point is this: walking out this faith walk, working out 🏋️♀️ your own soul salvation with fear and trembling means you gotta be okay with messing up. The flesh is not for play-play. It don’t just bow down and stay down; you gotta BEAT IT INTO SUBMISSION. Kill it. And she still an old zombie heaux. Every day you draw a breath? She opening her funky eyes too. Ready to take. You. Out.
Walking in submission would be easy were it not for the flesh. We are designed to stand in awe of God our Creator; our disposition is that anything we revere we honor with respect. We bow down to that which is greater. Even nature does it. Dogs and cats and monkeys and bears submit to the stronger, exposing the soft underbelly of their weakness. Male drones willingly allow worker bees to yeet them to their deaths during the winter months. Weak trees fall to the shadow of the taller, the stronger. What nature don’t have that we do, though? A will. We get to see choose. And even when we CHOOSE CHRIST? Fam. Our flesh revolts, like, “Nah, B. This ain’t what I signed up for. I’m finna do what I want.”
And so we start over sometimes, cuz like I said, that flesh not for play-play.
Meanwhile, for me, this progression of “we fall down, but we get up” is constantly mocking the remnants of that terrible stronghold of Perfectionism and control. I be expecting stuff to go a certain way, and when it don’t? I get entirely frustrated. Not just about things or people or whatever but with myself.
And so my lesson for this season is that while I am trying to give everyone else grace and mercy and second chances? I have to do it for myself just as much.
And so do you.
How we gone exemplify Christ when we walking around low key/high key condemning ourselves? Make THAT make sense, Vince? The word is clear on some thangs, okay:
- Jesus came to save—not to condemn.
- There’s no condemnation for those who love God in Christ and do His will.
- God’s grace is sufficient when we fall.
- We are to love others how we love ourselves.
- Loving others looks like LOTS of forbearance, forgiveness, mercy, and overlooking fault.
That all includes you, fam.
You can’t go around giving everybody else a pass and not let up on yourself. That’s dumb and unproductive! Eventually, you will get tired and offended because you’re expecting some secret pardon out the sky.
Listen! It’s so much easier than we make it. God is faithful and just to forgive us when we repent—admit our wrong and determine in our hearts to follow God’s path away from that mistake—and then God throws the memory into the sea of forgetfulness. The word says He literally puts it away from you. So tell me why YOU can’t put it away from you?
We all need grace and mercy from God and from others around us; and the most important source of that after God? Is self. Not run around sinning and carrying on; but to be able to move forward not weighed down at the ankles with regret and guilt and shame.
Did you repent? Make amends as the spirit of God leads? Commit yourself to God’s Will? Then get back up again! Lay aside the weight. And anybody that can’t forgive you? Well. Once you’ve met Christ’s requirement (whatever that may be for you), that ain’t none of your business. In Jesus name. Amen.
Give yourself a break. Grace and mercy—goodness and mercy following you: let em catch up.