The Christian Life Isn’t a One-Shot Deal, But a Walk Painted by Steps


Anonymous asked a question:

I feel like I just keep failing God. I feel like I’m constantly disappointing him and that I will never get my walk with him right. I’m really starting to question and wonder if I’m worth the trouble I’ve caused him and if I matter to him. I didn’t know who else to tell but I’ve read your posts and you are so kind and respond so humbly so I wanted to ask for some help. I really just don’t know what to do anymore.


Hey dear friend, thank you for reaching out with such honesty. I’m very sorry for what’s happening and I’ve been there.

I think the main thing is that you cared enough to message a stranger like me, and that’s already awesome & commendable. I also think you’re being awfully hard on yourself. Our default setting is going to be messy, full of mistakes and outright sabotage —  so any kind of “right living” is a crazy miracle, as miraculous as birth. Please don’t judge yourself on an unfair parameter. God doesn’t, either.

I hope that instead of looking back over a “pattern” or anything like that, you might be able to tackle each day, as they say, a day at a time. It sounds like a platitude, but many of us grade ourselves on the last few weeks or months in a row — and if you self-criticize on such a myopic scale, you’re always finding that you “should be better” and “ought to know better” and “I used to be so much better.” It’s way too critical, and impossibly illogical.

Of course, we should do everything we can to stop certain things and start other things, but it begins by almost not paying attention to “how much” we’re getting better. We can only improve the moment we quit grading our improvement and simply move on with it. It’s as C.S. Lewis says, that to make a good impression or good art, you care less about making it good and simply get there.


And you know, you’re probably doing better than you think. The Christian life isn’t a one-shot deal and then “it’s over.” It’s not all done in a day. It’s full of setbacks and head-shaking disbelief at yourself. That’s okay. That’s part of it. The journey is painted in steps, and though we cannot see the mosaic all at once, we must trust the God who holds the brush and makes us into something new, line by swirling line.

I don’t mean to blindside you with a Bible verse, but Philippians 1:6 tells us, “Be confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Until we see God with our own eyes, we’re works in progress looking towards perfection. We’ll always feel that itchy gap between who we want-to-be and who we really are, and the moment that matters is when your own mess-ups can drive you towards God instead of hiding from Him.

I’ve learned that when I mess up with a friend, I try to find them as fast as I can to talk it out and apologize. I see the hurt in their eyes and what my action did to them. I do that because I realize I want to be better, not out of obligation, but because I truly love my friend. I don’t delay or hide or wait it out. I have to settle it. I think God wants the same thing. That’s all 1 John 1:9. Even at our worst, we can go to Him and He wants that more than anything.

I hope I have not sounded too condescending or like I know more than anyone else. I really don’t; I’m learning, like we all are. As you recall you are truly loved, no matter what, His love will bring you to the place of change where you need to be.

The important thing is that you want to grow, and sometimes that’s the best God does in us for the day. And the day after that.

J.S.

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23 thoughts on “The Christian Life Isn’t a One-Shot Deal, But a Walk Painted by Steps

  1. This brings me to Paul’s exhortation to the Christians in Rome which I also think is appropriate for those Christians today who are in Christ Jesus our Lord and He is Within them by and in His Holy Spirit saying to us through that Spirit: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? NO-NO-NO!!! in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him (who’s IN You) who loves us. Amen and Amen “I” Believe it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One of my absolute favorite set of passages is Romans 6-8.
      Romans 6 – “Be dead to sin, alive to Christ.”
      Romans 7 – “Sorry, you can’t.”
      Romans 8 – “He can, and does.”

      Like

      1. For
        gar

        if
        ei

        we

        have

        become
        ginomai

        united
        symphytos

        with

        him

        in

        the
        ho

        likeness
        homoiōma

        of
        ho

        his
        autos

        death
        thanatos
        ,

        we

        will
        eimi

        certainly
        alla

        also
        kai

        be
        eimi
        united with him in the likeness

        of

        his
        ho

        resurrection
        anastasis
        We “MUST” become “UNITED” with Him IN His death so that the Power of His Resurrection flows out from our being identified with His Death as the “SEED” of reality as Truth springs up Alive and never to Die again Amen!

        Like

  2. That is so true. God looks your heart and see how honest you are. This is something you will overcome and help others in similar situation. We are righteous through Jesus. Nothing we can really do but becAuse of the Son of God we are made victorious over sin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. While action is important, it’s why we chose that way that’s just as important, if not more.

      I’m reminded of 2 Chronicles 6, “My father David had it in his heart to build a temple for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel. But the LORD said to my father David, ‘You did well to have it in your heart to build a temple for my Name. Nevertheless, you are not the one to build the temple.”

      God accords David’s intention as righteousness. A pretty big deal.

      Like

  3. Reblogged this on A.K.A. CALCAN and commented:
    The way I wanted it to be explained. It’s all in here. Once in a while, I am asking the same question to. Finally got a logical answer. It doesn’t matter what is your religion. Self-condemnation is everywhere.

    A must read…

    Like

  4. “We can only improve the moment we quit grading our improvement and simply move on with it.” Quite motivating.. Though we don’t belong to the same faith for which the term “religion” is used to express, yet my full faith in God hopefully makes me an eligible reader of your post. Quite inspiring post. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  5. It felt like that this would be the type of message I would receive if a friend of mine would ask Hannah Brencher to write a letter for me on her blog called “If You Find This Letter, Then It’s For You” #Greatread

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  6. In Adam the man we ALL came here in “WE” Die Meaning: We no matter how hard we try we are “Dead” to God and “MUST” Turn Inward to God Within our Hearts and if we do “Honestly” and sincerely with the “ALL” of it called “Repentance” then He will send to you Jesus “Yes” this same Jesus who left the earthly physical realm some TWO thousand years ago will come back “INTO” You but the World of the appearance realm won’t See Him but you will because He will be In you In your soul setting up His camp by the Spirit the Spirit that’s Holy until He saves the whole of our souls which is the very precise Goal of our Faith which is her Deliverance called our Salvation until the TWO Houses are “Witnessed” Within us as One Spirit or “Spiritual” House of God Himself through the Son(s) many who are ALL Membered In Jesus who is and “Must” be the Christ in us the only Hope of attaining to the Glory What Glory you may be asking? The Glory of God Himself is Christ the All and in All in us “ALL” of us body-soul and Spirit as the One God and His offspring of a different order as in eternal and ever-LASTING as is God revealed as was Melchizedek Amen and Spiritual Blessing to all who are In Christ Jesus where the Veil of the blindness of this worlds 1st man has and is only removed in Jesus who is and must be the Christ In us ALL Amen

    Like

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