A work in progress

Our theme for 2012 at Harvest is “Get it done”, based on Ephesians 2:10, which says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Works do not earn us salvation, rather they should be a product of salvation. In the shuffle of every day stresses, I get so consumed in my little bubble and how I’m going to get everything done.

I want to be focused on the eternal, but I cannot do it in my natural state. I’m selfish, arrogant, prideful. I get worried, anxious, and needy. I need a sanctifying work. 1 Thessalonians 5:23:

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.

When I first got saved, and even years later I turned a lot of people off to Jesus. Heck, maybe I still do. I’ve made mistakes and taken wrong turns. I disguised myself from behind a mask of “miss goody two shoes straight A’s virgin church girl”. At least that’s how I perceived myself. When you make mistakes, you learn from them and I think I’ve learned to be more like Jesus and just love people.

This blog post by Jamie the Very Worst Missionary put things into perspective. I love  her blog because she’s just so real. I think she says what a lot of Christians are afraid to say. She cusses. She admits her failures. Publicly. No sin will ever get dealt with if it’s kept hidden. [Believe me, I know from experience.]

I want to love Jesus and love people, but I also don’t want to go off the other deep end and be all about loving and not about salvation or discipleship. We don’t need to be from the world to be relevant in the world.

To be honest, I’ve been doubtful lately. Gasp. What?! Doubting?! You mean, you haven’t been 100% walking in faith? Who woulda thought.

I’ve been wondering why bad things have to happen to good people. I found out this week one of my friends is starting chemo treatments… and it’s just not fair.

I’ve been wondering how people who did walk in the faith could be the furthest thing from it.

I’ve been wondering how to share Jesus with people without sounding preachy. Is being their friend enough? What’s the point of having “friendships” if it’s just a “missionary friendship”? Sorry, but I refuse to befriend people with the sole purpose of sharing Jesus with them. I want to actually like my friends, spend time with them doing things we like to do together, and just be friends.

I wonder how the Church has gotten so so so far from who the real Jesus was. The Jesus who talked to strangers, whores, lepers, preachers, tax collectors, fishermen. He never asked any of them to change who they were before they started following Him. He only asked for an undivided heart… so… what is with this judging and labeling homosexuals, potheads, divorcees, big wigs, abortionists, etc who don’t even claim to be Christians?! Who says that’s the “Christian” thing to do? It pisses me off.

I think God has done some sanctification in my life thus far. I’ve let him change my attitudes towards nonbelievers and believers alike. I still have a lot of bad attitudes to work through, and cussing up a storm is not the way to do it.

I’m sick of my inner dialogue being about myself and how I feel about things. It’s all about me, me, me. More than once in the past week I’ve felt on the verge of an anxiety attack… it’s a throwback to life four to five years ago.. and I thought I got through it.

Thinking on all the things that I need to be sanctified for or from can be overwhelming and depressing…. however, I am thankful for a Savior who loves me for me, Elizabeth, the Elizabeth that talks behind her boss’s back, the Elizabeth that lusts after attractive actors (it must be their fault, right?!), the Elizabeth that doesn’t pray or study the Word nearly enough, and the Elizabeth that picks fights with her husband.

There is so much that God’s planned for me to do, so with my undivided heart and His willingness to pursue and purify, we can get it done.

4 thoughts on “A work in progress

  1. I really, really, really suck at loving people. Honest. I am quick to judge and do not look at strangers through my rose colored glasses. All too often they annoy me in the checkout line, their kids are too loud, or their dog barks too much.

    This post definitely sticks out to me; I do need to live a little more like Jesus. Maybe those in the checkout line are taking their time to make sure their coupon goes through because they cannot go over their limit, maybe kids are rowdy because daddy is gone on deployment and schedules are messed up, and maybe the dog is barking because he has a loving home on the inside he wants to get back too.


    I feel like a jerk.

  2. It’s the worst when you see a lot of christian people doing unchristian things in a supposed “christian” environment and it makes you so mad you end up doing the same exact thing! I know i often think to myself “i’m just so tired of doing the christian thing all the time” its a lot of work! So so very selfish. I think i’m going to create a new blog and title it “Amelia, the very worst human.” It’s exhausting being focused on me all the time! 😉 I love your posts bestie! ❤

  3. It’s really really hard. Growing up I heard a lot of judgment about people and it was really hard for me to start breaking out of that… and it’s still hard. I don’t like to take crap from people or let people take advantage of me, and it’s hard to find a balance.

  4. I love this! Thanks for saying all these great things…what a wonderful cousin I have! I really believe that the heart of Christianity is Jesus, and his main purpose was to teach us how to love each other by showing us how he loves us and died for us. If we aren’t ready to embrace the lost, the outcast, the people who live in constant darkness and fear, how can we ever embrace ourselves, since that’s who we were before we experienced God’s everlasting grace? You said all these things really beautifully. ❤ Love ya!

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