Mark Affleck


September 29, 2016
Spiritual Growth

My tendency to feel unworthy as a child of God earlier in my life increased with each new “mistake” I made or bad thought that crossed the cinema of my mind. This negative cycle created and reinforced a damaging self-perception that I could never live a Christ-like life. It was a LIE! Thank God I learned the truth.
Thinking we’re no good for God leads us to start thinking we are no good for others; no good for our families and friends; no good for anyone. We make it a zero-sum game. We are bad, not the behavior or the thought. If anything is wrong, everything is wrong.
You’ve been there, right?
I certainly have…and that’s an understatement. It’s no surprise that everything I tried to “hammer out the sin” during this painful time failed miserably.
Instead of breaking the cycle by going to God with the pain caused by my intrusive and destructive thoughts, I perpetuated the cycle by trying hard to “be better,” but couldn’t hammer out the sin. I tried to live up to the world’s view of perfection, but couldn’t hammer out the sin. I tried everything within my power to make it “go away,” but couldn’t hammer out the sin.
Even if we know to our core that God shows us unmerited favor, we often try to prove we are worthy of his grace by “being good” as described above. But God says none of that matters. He says we are worthy of his grace based on who we are in Christ, not what we have done.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”  Ephesians 2:8
It can take a lifetime to distinguish the difference between the voice of darkness and God’s peace, but it does NOT have to be that way. God says finding his voice of light is a commitment issue, not a time issue. And it does NOT have to take a lifetime.
If we have no control over what we feel, why in the world do we think, “I shouldn’t feel this way?”
The real issue is not what we feel. It is what we BELIEVE, and how we process the thoughts swirling around in our minds. God says the only thing that matters is our assurance of victory in all things.
 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37
For most of us, we have trouble believing that God is control because we are soaked in stress and full of futility. We are trying to manage the unmanageable and the predictable results are chaos, confusion, and conflict.
God tells us stop trying to figure everything out, especially the future. Even though we have trouble believing it, the teaching of the Bible is very clear that we are not in control.
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3

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