Friday, April 24, 2015

Berated or Celebrated?

I've been beating myself up lately.

Have you ever done that...beaten yourself up over your lack of control, lack of faith or lackadaisical attitude?

You see, I've been feeling like a "bad Christian." Anyone ever felt that way...can I see a show of hands?

That's what I thought. You've been there, haven't you?

I missed an opportunity to share God's love with someone because there simply wasn't an opening. But I felt that she needed to know and opening... 

I felt that I had failed God.

My bible reading has grown a bit stale. I even wrote a blog about how to liven it up. 

One of the things I mentioned in that post was moving the apps on your phone so that things like Facebook are not on your main page. I did that. But I know where it is, so I can easily overlook the Bible app to go to Facebook where I can view pointless pictures of peoples' meals and stupid, but cute videos. 

Finding comfort in trivial things instead of God's word.

Again...I feel like I fail God every time I choose something else over His voice.

And prayer? Well...I'm busy. I get up very early, and since I'm not a morning person, I throw up a thank you and help me type prayer...if I remember.

I work a nine-hour day, run home, throw together a quick dinner (because it's important to eat right) and run off the the Rehab to visit with my mom before coming home and preparing my food to bring with me the next day, throw a load of laundry in, shower and fall into bed. I don't even have time to write.

So...I guess I fail God in the prayer department too, huh?

But here's the thing about missed opportunities:

  • I may have missed that opportunity, but maybe she wasn't ready to hear it yet.
  • I may have missed that opportunity, but I heeded the voice of God on something else...something that didn't really make all that much sense to me...and it blew the person away.
So how can I say that I don't hear from God?

And here's the thing about missed bible reading:
  • I may not be actively reading my bible, but I know my bible and when verses come to mind, I ponder them. 
  • I may not be actively reading my bible, but I am reading books and blogs that help my growth in other ways...books and blog posts that include bible verses.
  • Before there was the bible, there was still the Word. I'm not saying that reading my bible is not important. It is. But let's not get legalistic about spending time in the bible, when we are still spending time in the Word.
  • Worship music, with words that are scriptural floods my car every time I get in it.
So how can I say that I don't spend time in the Word?

And prayer?
  • I sent off an email this morning in response to a friend's request for prayer for many of her loved ones traveling today. The email included a prayer. I also included a video and told her that song was my prayer for her today.
  • Not long after that, I read a blog post by someone who was obviously under attack by satan because of her faithfulness to God. In the comment section, I wrote a prayer, as it came into my head for her.
  • The same worship music that floods my car, floods my soul and I pour it back out as a prayer. Sometimes it's a prayer of thanksgiving, sometimes of intercession, sometimes of simple praise.
  • I once mentioned this concern of my lack of prayer to a friend, and her response was, "Every time you write a blog post, you let us in to your prayer closet. Is that not considered prayer?"
So, how can I say I'm not praying?

I am not a failure. And neither are you.

I have not failed God, because God doesn't love me with conditions. He doesn't set expectations of me that cannot be achieved, and then withhold love because I haven't met those expectations.

The same goes for you.

We need to be very careful of how much we berate ourselves for the times we think we've failed, and start celebrating the times we succeed, the times we listen, the times we draw near. 

A berated spirit closes communication to God, and shrivels under the weight of condemnation.

Our walk with God is not about getting it right all of the time, most of the time, some of the time or even none of the time. It's not about "getting it right" at all. 

It's not about what we do, how we do it or how often we do it.

It's about being, not doing.

Can we learn to just be? 

If God accepts us unconditionally, just the way we are, should we not accept ourselves in the same way?

Let's stop beating ourselves up and allow God to move in our lives however He wants to. 

Let's close off the voices of condemnation that come from striving for perfection and performance, and be open to hear God saying, 

Well done, good and faithful servant.

Can we all try to hear that amid the cacophony of voices telling us otherwise?

Blessings Along the Path,

sharing this post with Deb at Blessing CountersBarbie at The Weekend Brew, Janis at Sunday Stillness, Laura atPlaydates With God, Joan at Sharing His Beauty, Holly at Testimony Tuesday, Kelly at #RaRa Linkup, Holley at Coffee For Your Heart, Beth at Wedded Wednesday


  1. Thanks, Mary, for your thoughtful words. I'll be thinking about them today. (I'm here from Jan's Sunday Stillness, by the way). Hope you have a great Sunday!

    1. Thanks Violet for stopping by for a visit.

  2. We are so blessed in this hi-tech age to be able to use lots of different kinds of media to spend time with His Word, in prayer, and in worshipping Him.I believe He accepts our communication/our growing relationship with Him in lots of different ways.. I believe that He not standing over us, judging how much time we spend in each thing. I think the most important thing for me is keeping everything in perspective, and always putting the Lord first and foremost in my life. If I see the temptation to let the temptations of the world, including technology, start to draw me away from God, I consider taking a break from those distraction and focus again on seeking a growing relationship with Him. This is a continual life process. God wants a relationship with us, so as long as we keep pursuing Him, He delights in us!!! Thanks for sharing.
    Ann @ Christ in the Clouds ( )

  3. Mary, blessed to be your neighbor at Testimony Tuesday today. Oh your words convict me too. And working at a church, living the fishbowl life, especially makes me very aware of those times I feel I have failed. But grace is a wonderful gift isnt it?

  4. You are exactly right! God does not love you with conditions. He does not want us to feel guilty. He just wants our hearts, imperfect and broken as they are. Thank you for this great reminder.

  5. Amen friend there is therefore now no condemnation. Jesus presents us without spot or blemish. Happy to be visiting from #raralinkup