Let us start this devotion first with this: I am not saying be PERFECT and the Bible is not saying be PERFECT. Matter of fact, let me just help free someone…look in the mirror and say, “I am not perfect and it is okay.” Now say it like you mean and believe it. Whew.. feel better? I know it took me a long time and I am talking more than minutes to get this idea that I did not have to be perfect and the realization that I would not ever achieve perfection here on this earth. When I grasped that truth, it sure felt like I lost fifty pounds that hung around my neck and weighed on my chest.
There is also the other aspect of this perfectionism, those who do nothing because they think that they will do nothing right. Fear of failing or messing up has kept them on the sidelines. Someone needs to grasp this truth: Sitting on the bench does not get you in the game. You have to get up, practice, get dirty, try and then try some more. The coach (God) wants to put you in the game, tell him you are ready. You can even sing this old tune, “Put me in coach, I’m ready to play, today!” God needs people on the field; people who are ready to daily prepare themselves to go out and live out this thing called life according to his Word. It is okay if you mess up, God still loves you. Take a deep breath, lace up your shoes, get your equipment and head out there and live your Christian life out loud so the whole world can see.
“But before people can ask the Lord for help, they must believe in him; and before they can believe in him, they must hear about him; and for them to hear about the Lord, someone must tell them…” Romans 10:14 (NCV)
This journey takes practice, determination and self control. I think about the Olympics and the gymnasts who made the United State of America team. They did not become part of the team without practice, determination to reach a goal (keeping it in the forefront of their mind) and self-control. They spent hours upon hours for years practicing, flipping, training, studying and preparing. What we see on the television screen is the gymnast at their best. We forget that for years that they had fallen and fallen and fallen again, but continued to get back up. I am sure they shed tears, thought about letting go of that dream, but something in them was determined to get to their destination. Without all those years of preparation for this one week, one moment, I wonder how well prepared they would have been?
As a child of God, we need to realize we will make mistakes. However, we also need to not trip our own feet. It is important that we cast moral hindrances out the door of our hearts, minds and lives. By moral hindrance, I am speaking of things that clog up, fog up and clutter up space for God to reign. Is there anything in your life that is keeping you from seeing God clearly? Any situations, environments, friends that cause you to trip on your own shoe laces? Paul says in Galatians, “Who cut in on you?”
Here is a tool to help you figure out what, who and where might be a moral hindrance. Tuck this away and paint if on the walls of your heart and tattoo it in your brain.
“Finally brothers (or sisters), whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Phillipians 4:6
Before you act, insert what you are going to do in place of “whatever” and decide if it aligns with God’s Word, His Way. Remember He is the way to the truth and to life. Let us not shift with the tolerance of declining morals and values, but rather take a stand and draw a line in the sand where we say, “I am standing firm on what God says is okay not what society is accepting.” When we keep our feet on the narrow path that God has laid out for them to walk, we will keep our stumbling to a minimum. Just remember, if you fall, get back up again and keep on moving. It is when we stop moving that we become paralyzed. Let us not allow anyone or anything to cut in on our race. We have a place that God is wanting us to get to and that place is maturity (James 1).
The fourth key to a blessed life is the key of Godly morals and values, doing what is right in God’s sight.