Don't be too hard on yourself
by Kelechi Udoagwu
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As Christians and as humans, we can be really hard on ourselves. We feel like we’re not doing well enough to be called born-again Christians; like we’re constantly disappointing God, because we know we are constantly disappointing ourselves. Every time we tell a lie, or insult somebody, or are reluctant to help mum or a neighbour; we take it to heart, and feel like we can never be “good Christians”.
I can’t count how many times I have gotten so sad and mad at myself for failing, for repeatedly sinning, for repeatedly falling short and doing something I promised myself and God I would not do again. Whenever I get in this mood, I usually separate myself from God; I try to hide myself like Adam and Eve did; I don’t feel worthy, so I do not even want to remain in His sight. I stop praying and just go about my life; feeling downcast, alone, lost.
But moving further away from God after sinning is exactly what the devil wants. And every time we do that, we are letting him (oh that cunning little ******, insert insult here) win. The devil wants to stop us from praying; he wants us to feel like God doesn’t love us anymore, is angry with us and has turned His back. The devil wants us to be weak; he wants to cut us off from our eternal source of power, warmth and reassurance. And he succeeds the moment we stop praying;because then the spirit of God leaves us and we become vulnerable to vices and even worse temptations of the world and the devil. We should never distance ourselves from God; even after sinning. He loves us unconditionally. He understands our weaknesses, our human desires, our insecurities, our addictions; and He will not cast a person who is continually and truly trying away because of one sin. (Not in this world where extreme violence and material worship abound- there are so much worse sinners than us out there *hehehe)
LOVE is the ultimate commandment. LOVE is the most important message God wants us to share with the world. It’s written:
“FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE ABIDE, BUT THE GREATEST OF THESE THREE IS LOVE (1st Cor. 13:13)”
As long as keep our hearts clean, wish everyone even our enemies well, forgive without receiving apologies, spread goodwill not gossip, stay grateful, help less-privileged people to the best of our abilities, and acknowledge God as Lord, I believe that He will continue to forgive us.
He understands that we are only human and that sometimes we will flounder and flicker, but He wants us to keep trying and to be good people with hearts full of love. To LOVE; share love, exude love, be love, have love is to reflect the spirit of God in us. Love is the summary of what being a Christian is. A Christian should have faith, a Christian should have hope, a Christian should adhere to the 10 commandments, a Christian should spread the gospel. Yes a Christian should do all these things, but most importantly a Christian should have the spirit of God and that is LOVE.
“Above all things, be fervent in your love among yourselves; for LOVE COVERETH A MULTITUDE OF SINS” (1st Peter 4:8)
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart..... And thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. ON THESE TWO COMMANDMENTS, HANGS ALL THE LAWS AND PROPHETS (Matthew 22:37-40)
So don’t be too hard on yourself. God is not sitting down with a register and red marker, ticking every mistake, every flaw and assigning appropriate punishment. He is aware of our limitations, mistakes, our weaknesses and how much we try to overcome.
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