A lesson I keep having to learn and relearn

That’s just who I am

I think too often we make excuses for who we are and how we act.

We’ll say, “that’s just my personality”, or “that’s just the way they are”.

But the whole purpose of the cross and the blood of Jesus was to glorify God by transforming us into the likeness of Jesus and that’s not how He was.

Jesus chose to not do what He wanted to do in favor of doing what the Father wanted. He didn’t just go with how He felt, He pushed through and continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. (1 Peter 2:23)

So the statement, “that’s just who I am” is not valid.

Jesus expects us to fight our natural sinful tendencies as we trust our heavenly father just as He did.

Be who you were meant to be

To be the you, you want to be you will have to fight the you, you want to be. (Romans 7:15-20)

Being the best version of you, which is the version God has in mind,  is going to take sweat, focus, and heart. It doesn’t come naturally.

Paul had to fight to do what he wanted to do but tended to do what he didn’t want to do.

Paul’s inner dialogue might’ve gone something like this,

“how easy it would be just to get rid of all these false teachers to drag them off to jail to somehow find a way to manipulate the authorities again and make my life easier, it’s for a good cause, I’m trying to disciple men and women for Christ.

But, I won’t. That’s not who I want to be.

I want to be the Paul who loves, who sacrifices, and submits my personality to Christ so that he may reign in power in my life.I will choose to lay down my life as Christ did. I will work to win both Jew and Gentile, man and woman, rich and poor.

I will live this way because ‘I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20)’.”

One small step at a time

2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

I love this verse, but when you read it it’s easy to get this idea that all of this happens in a millisecond.

Yes, the resurrection power of Jesus does take us from death to life when we surrender our lives to Him but we are not removed from our sinful bodies.

This is not an excuse to continue to do sinful things, it’s an acknowledgment that you and I will struggle just as Paul did.

So realize that becoming who God wants you to be will take time.

The good news, however, is that God wants us to be more like Christ. And he may not remove that “thorn” in your flesh, but He does promise that “My (God) grace is sufficient for you, for my (God) power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

God will give you the grace to not be driven by personality or impulse.

Do this

Today, instead of caving into your personality and impulse, ask the spirit to make you more like Jesus in one of these areas: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)

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