Isnít it funny how God works? He works from the inside out, sometimes it is so slow and natural we donít even see the change. Other times, He works so fast; itís a miracle, a deliverance. Iíve experienced both of these ways of God in my life. About 6-8 months after I got saved, I one day noticed I didnít swear anymore. I donít know when it happened or how it happened, it just did. When I got off of drugs and drinking it was a genuine deliverance in my life. It seemed to happen quickly, but as I think about it, maybe it was a slow process, one I didnít even know was going on inside of me until it manifested on the outside.
I read a book ďTired of Trying to Measure UpĒ by Jeff VanVonderen a few months after I quit smoking pot. Now Iím reading it again. When I first read the book I thought the author knew me and was writing the book about me. Almost every single word was exactly me! It was the best book; it really helped me to realize what, how and why I have the personality traits and behaviors that I do.
The book is about Christians who live under a deeply ingrained code of written and unwritten expectations and rules that shame them and drain them. It is for the perfectionist, people with low self worth, ones that were abused or shamed and the people who were addicted to any form of substance that allowed them to escape. Mostly it is about shame and how it affects us in our opinion about our relationships our behaviors and ourselves. It speaks about who we are in Godís eyes, what He created us to be, the freedom Godís grace brings and how to recognize what our coping skills are and how they do or donít serve us in our relationships.
The first time I read this book, a friend borrowed it to me. I remembered the book being so true for me that I wanted my own copy. My church had a sale in the bookstore a few weeks ago and I bought it. I started reading it for the second time. I am only on the 3rd chapter and I can already see how far Iíve come. The opinions, behaviors and characteristics the book speaks of were 98% me the first time. Now, they are still in me, but healed to the point that they rarely show up anymore. My thoughts are different, my actions are different, and itís a miracle!
ďAnd all of us, as with unveiled face, because we continued to behold in the Word of God as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another for this comes from the Lord Who is the Spirit. II Corinthians 3:18
ďAnd let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.Ē Philippians 2:6
ďBeing confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus ChristĒ Philippians 1:6
If you ever think you are not moving spiritually, look back in your journal if you have one, read a book that described you, ask a trusted friend or pray and ask God to reveal it to you. I know you will be encouraged when you realize how different you are. God usually takes us through lifeís lessons slowly and we are continually being transformed into His likeness.