The Right Direction

There are some days that feel like screw ups before the sun's barely up.

This morning, for instance, I was all huffy because I let something that irked me yesterday worm its way into my attitude when I woke up today. {I was irked realizing the walls are going to need a second coat of paint. Yes, paint. Stupid. I know.} Someone's barely off to work and I feel like a screw up, or just a two-year-old.

Some days show me me a lot more clearly than I like seeing. It doesn't take being married to know I'm far from perfect, but the attitude and heart issues I used to be able to lock away in my bedroom under the guise of homework and studying, without giving them any audience, haven't magically perfected themselves and they still show up, and now there's a witness and not being able to hide makes me realize who I still am, who I don't want to be. Sometimes someone else, watching, is all the mirror I need to glimpse who I am, to glimpse the silly irritated moodiness over silly things, the cynicism, the childishness, and to remember that we're all broken, even the saved.

Because even though believers have been made a new creation {2 Cor. 5:17} and are free from sin's power {Rom. 6:7, 14}, we're still broken in the sense that we struggle with sin even if we are now slaves to righteousness and still give in to sin even if we have given our lives to Christ {Rom. 7:18-19}. We're still sinful, even if we're saved, even if we don't want that anymore, because perfection isn't automatic. Salvation is instantaneous, but sanctification {to be set apart and becoming like Christ} is eventual, a gradual process.

Some days this process feels slow, frustratingly slow. There are some things that can be done away with, through His power, once-and-for-all it seems, but some sins and struggles feel like a never-ending battle. And sometimes we slow down the process ourselves because we get lazy, fall back into sin and stop fighting it; we become calloused to what is right, to obedience; we get distracted by others instead of focusing on our standard, Christ; we don't follow Him, we run after the world. Sometimes I feel like I take one step forward and two steps back.

But God knows who we are, and He doesn't expect perfection immediately, because that's not how He planned things to work; God is interested in direction. He wants us to be growing up to be like Him. Ultimately, it is the power of God that transforms us, but we have to cooperate with Him; He works in us to be conforming us to the image of Christ, and to empower us to fight sin, if we allow. He will work in our hearts and minds to align them with His, with what is good and right, when we put off the old self, the old ways, the old plans, and surrender to His work in our life.

Some days feel like you've screwed up before breakfast and are headed in the completely wrong direction, but these are the days when you remember God is a God of forgiveness and grace and millionth chances, if you're willing to turn around and go His way. Because going God's way means letting go of our ways. These are the days when you stop and ask God to forgive you, and then to redirect you. These are the days when you ask God to pry your hands open so He can change your heart, your mind, your life.

"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."
      ~ Philippians 1:6

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