A few weeks ago, I was rifling through some box of papers somewhere in my house- I don't remember where it was (since I have lots of boxes of papers). Otherwise I would have shared a picture. Anyway, when I was eight or so, probably right before or after I was baptized, I got this idea that I should be this perfect person and I had to rely on myself to be like that. Anyway, I made this list of goals I needed to meet- if I met them, I would reward myself. If not, phooey. The list included things like "Exercise 5 times/week", "Only eat dessert ___ times a week", "Give this much money to the church every week". The problem was, they were all things that I really didn't want to do. I had no desire to do them, and I think that before a week was over, I put the list away. It was impossible to meet the standards I had set for myself.
It is also impossible for us to be holy before God. We have all "missed the mark" and we will never be able to get a "bulls eye". That's why we have Christ. In God's perfect plan for the world, He knew that we would mess up and He sacrificed His precious Son for us. Christ died and rose again and I think that's pretty awesome, but sometimes I'm still tempted to set standards for myself or beat myself up when I make a mistake. Why? I know I have salvation in Christ, but I want so badly to be good enough by myself. Let's face it- we're all gonna make mistakes. That's why Christ died for us- "We all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" We can always run to Jesus when we mess up and tell Him that we want to be better and ask Him for guidance. This doesn't mean we should head over to the Dollar Store, steal a Twinkie, the confess to the Lord that we just can't control our urge for sweets. We still need to strive for holiness. I like to think of it as a constant uphill battle- it's hard, but we're getting somewhere! Even if you never wrote a list like mine, maybe you unconsciously set unrealistic standards for yourself. You have to be ___ lbs. to be beautiful. You have to go to church every Sunday to be a "good Christian". etc. etc. I want feedback- let us know the standards you have set for yourself- and ask God to set you free today!