I give myself too much credit.
I was struggling a few days back, feeling like I wasn’t guarding my heart. I kept talking to God and praying about it but I still felt guilty.
To some extent I’m okay with the guilt. I let myself simmer in it, knowing guilt is what leads you to repentance, right? Guilt is a good thing. Then I came to a few realizations.
- I told myself I was so bad for sinning because I knew EXACTLY what I was doing, but the truth is, I didn’t. I was deceived. And even though I have the knowledge that God has something better, I chose to believe the lie. But I didn’t know exactly what I was doing, because I don’t understand the gravity of my sin and I don’t comprehend God’s glory. I was deceived into forgetting what I believe. I was deceived into ignoring that knowledge.
- I told myself I had stopped guarding my heart- that I had let my guard down, and that’s why I sinned. But that’s giving myself too much credit. I’m not the one who guards my heart. I don’t have the power to protect myself. God protects me, God guards my heart. I have to let Him.
He does give us a choice, which is why I fell in the first place. I chose to believe a well-disguised deception. I’m not downplaying my sin- it was still a sin against a perfect and holy God. But I gave myself all the credit. It was all about me. Which, I guess, is a form of pride.
So what’s my responsibility and what’s not?
Philippians 4:17 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I am a soldier in God’s army. A good soldier takes orders, but he knows that he can’t protect and defend the country all by himself. I can choose to guard my heart, but I also can’t defend it all by myself. I’m not strong enough to fight deception by myself, and I never will be.
I can’t just kick back and relax, though, and be complacent. God has given believers a command:
John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also love one another.
Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
This Colossians verse is one that comforted me a lot when I was in the theatre department of our local college (which, by the way, was not Christian). Whatever I do, I will do it for His glory. My recognition comes from giving Him the credit. Because it’s not about me. It’s about Him.