Simply be yourself
Nothing follows us around like a persistent sense of judgment when it comes to living a Christian lifestyle. We consider ourselves to be such failures, and we appear to be completely fruitless. We’re experiencing a lot of ups and downs. We’re such cowards and cowardice is in our blood. It is not so much that we fight against the great sins — the things we do or don’t do — as it is that we fight against the dragging feeling that we are of no service because we are such a mess. We look around and notice that other people appear to be doing well, and we begin to wonder why we are such failures. We are continually burdened by a heaviness in our hearts and minds. However, we don’t feel intelligent, we don’t feel compassionate, and we don’t feel spiritual; rather, we feel out of touch with the outside world, dull and dry, and helpless.
It displays itself constantly in the way we constantly denigrate ourselves as useless, more of a burden to God than a help, so rebellious, so disobedient; and we are fond of claiming that if God uses us at all, it is because we are doing something wrong..
It is quite important to understand how we can accept ourselves without feeling condemned. It is our inability to grasp this concept that causes us to lose all of our vitality.
The important thing to remember is that it is He who accepts us
If our salvation hinged on our choosing Him, we could be tempted to put it off indefinitely, because we couldn’t be sure He would accept us. But He selected us — and He chose us unreservedly. “It was not you who picked Me; it was I who selected you”.
He chose us just as we are, with all of our flaws and flawless aspects of our humanity. We can certainly marvel at the absurdity of His choices, but it is not our place to do so. He paid the ultimate price for us – the price of His own Son’s blood — so we had best get busy choosing ourselves if we want to remain in His grace and blessing. It is an insult to Him if we do not accept those He accepts.
You are not a failure in any way
In truth, we need to do a full spring cleaning of the damning, disparaging, and guilty notions about ourselves that we have inherited or picked up in some other way. The transparency of today, while shocking many because of its excesses, is actually much healthier and closer to the truth than the secrecy of previous generations of Christians. Which is why it is a good thing for everyone. And there is no book that can be opened with more confidence than the Bible. There, a spade is never referred to as anything other than a spade.
Allow it to sink in that there isn’t a single reaction that we may have as humans — not a single response of our bodies, thoughts, emotions, or imaginations — that is fundamentally incorrect. God desires for us to experience all of these normal human feelings.
Put an end to your pretenses
As a result, instead of criticizing instincts or impulses — and instead of attempting to pretend they are not there as so much religious play-acting does — let us investigate how misuse might be replaced by proper usage in the first place.
The negative is to state that something is wrong and to try to conceal it if at all possible. The constructive way to deal with it is to acknowledge it and consider how God’s goal is to use that particular inclination as a channel via which He might show Himself in your life.
“All things are worked out according to the counsel of His own will,” says God. “It is in us to will and to do according to His good pleasure,” He says. The Bible says that when we are called by God and accepted by Him, “all things [positive and bad] work together for good.”
Put an end to your self-condemnation
Every scenario we find ourselves in is a result of God’s perfect plan. It is, in fact, the one that is required. So thank God for each and every circumstance! No matter what situation you are in. Never question or criticize yourself since this is what causes the bondage of spirit that has brought us all so much sorrow. Instead, embrace yourself exactly as you are and as you are feeling at any given moment.
Don’t stress yourself out by trying to be someone you’re not. Just be yourself. Realize that as long as you are honest with yourself and with others about who you are and what you do, there is no room for criticism.
In the words of Jesus, “God justifies, and who is the one who condemns?” At the same time, acknowledge that Christ has become your very life. He has taken the place of your previous self. This then allows you to be genuinely free as yourself — as the Christ within you — as a result of the experience.
Simply relax and allow yourself to be spontaneous
Only He has the ability to transform whatever attitudes or feelings you may be experiencing. As a result, don’t strive to accomplish anything other than what comes naturally and readily to you. Simply carry out the actions that occur to you as a result of your spontaneous inspiration. Take the stance that, in Christ, you are dead to everything but dwelling in Him and nothing else matters.
But often that death includes those aspects of ourselves that we would truly wish to keep. However, we must be comfortable with being whatever He decides to be in us at any given time. “If it is necessary, you are in a state of heaviness as a result of numerous trials,” Peter explains. When you are faced with one of these difficult trials, accept the heaviness and sorrow that comes with being human and do not attempt to change the situation. You just have to accept it as God’s direct will for the time being and give Him gratitude for doing so.
You have no way of knowing what God has planned for you or what future reasons He may have in mind for the events you are going through right now, so don’t waste your time trying to figure it out. Continually carry out the tasks you believe He is assigning you at the time. He has a perfect reason for everything that is occurring around you, even if that reason is not immediately apparent to you. So keep your attention fixed on this liberating truth.
Take pleasure in your freedom
The single eye of faith of which Jesus spoke allows us to remain free within, regardless of the situations and appearances around us on the outside. We are not to be deceived by the circumstances or disappointed by them. In order for His life to manifest in us, we must embrace our current circumstance completely — both the external situation He has placed us in and our internal feelings toward it. We must do so knowing that it is for His life to manifest in us.
While sorrow and temptation abound — as well as failure and apparent defeat — our entire responsibility is to remain calm and at peace inside ourselves, knowing that we walk with Him alone, that He walks within us, and that He will direct our steps in His direction.
He will see to it that His purpose for you life is completed
His determination to lead us down this path means that He does not notice the uncertainty, heaviness, or bewilderment we are experiencing, but simply the next step in His perfect plan for us. And He in us is the One who will bring it about when we fully embrace and enjoy in the present moment, trusting that, despite the appearance of the moment, all things genuinely do work together for our good.