We’ve all heard that we need to wear our hearts on our sleeves and let our emotions determine how we act. But if you’ve ever been reprimanded by a friend whom you bared your soul to…if you’ve ever been ignored by a boyfriend whom you spoke intimately with…if you’ve ever been rejected by a mentor whom you shared your darkest secret with…then you know that wearing your heart on our sleeve is messy. In fact, it’s unwise.
I believe God has convicted me that, deep down in my soul, I treasure these people and things more than Him. Yes, I still know Him. Yes, I still love Him. Yes, I still belong to Him. But I've been chasing my fleshly desires.
Now, of course, this is the perfect opportunity for me to make up a great story about how I’m cherishing my single life and how I don’t need a man. I just need my career…or gal pals…or Jesus. Right? But the truth isn’t nearly as complicated as those made-up reasons.
In Bible study, we focus on answering the questions in the book. In Sunday School, we discuss prayer requests about our travels and job transitions. In small group, we talk about the weather, sports, or politics. But, believers are not going to grow in their faith by talking about the weather, sports, or politics.
We all struggle to find our identity in Christ alone. We all want to find our value in something we achieve, and we want others to notice our achievements. But Christ notices us—even without our achievements.
There are so many things I need to do that I’m not doing. I need to do more, try harder, be better…but I’m not. If I set New Year’s resolutions for 2019, I’ll set myself up to fail. I can’t and won’t live up to my standards—or even God’s standards. As soon as I look away from my list of resolutions—or maybe even while I’m still writing them—I’ll fail.
I know it’s hard to be honest in a high-and-mighty Christian society. It feels like the Christians who set unrealistic goals for other Christians never talk about their sins and their hardships. It causes us to wonder if their struggles even exist. Friend, just because people don’t talk about their issues doesn’t mean they don’t have issues. Not only am I guilty of inwardly judging others for their sins, but I’m also guilty of hiding my sins from them.
Even with the people we know…with the people we trust…with the people we are supposed to be unified with…we try to hide. We are silent. We conveniently forget to mention that we are struggling.
I couldn’t focus on the task at hand: doing devotions. Even though I try to do them regularly, I don’t always meet that goal. And I certainly have trouble focusing while I do them. So why do I bother? Why do I even spend time with God at all? What is the real reason I have quiet time? The real reason I have quiet time is to...