We've spent August looking at growth and to round up our exploration and start September on the right foot, I want to remind you that you are worthy!
We've been doing the work to build our faith and grow stronger in God. As we continue to do this, I want to remind you that you are worthy. You are worthy of the grace of God, and you are worthy of all of the blessings He's promised to you. But, I know sometimes you don't feel worthy. Maybe you do, but I know sometimes I don't.
I don't always feel like I'm worthy, and I don't always feel like God's going to answer my prayers. I don't always feel like I measure up to where He's called me to be. But, what I've come to realize is that because this is a journey, these thoughts aren't going to disappear overnight. They aren't going to somehow evaporate from my subconscious because I prayed and read the word a few times. As much as I wish that, that was the case, it's not and that's because I'm human and I'm flawed, just like you.
So, if you've felt these feelings, then I want to encourage you to acknowledge that these thoughts are coming up. Sometimes we try to act like we're good, and everything is cool, and in turn, we cover up our thoughts and real feelings. The problem with that is that covering them up doesn't root them out. Instead, these thoughts fester and keep us in the same place we've been trying to get out of. Eventually, our true identity is masked by all of these underlying unresolved issues.
A few years back, I had a serious attitude problem. If someone said anything to me, that felt like shade or felt like they were coming for something I had or didn't have or heck if they were trying to tell me that I was wrong about something, the attitude would come out. I wasn't having it y'all. Like, excuse me, I had that 'don't come for me if I didn't send for you attitude' lol. SMH, I can look back and laugh at it now because its like girl, who did you think you were, and not only that, why was I so quick to anger and self-consciousness.
Notice, it was feelings that brought on most of these attitude actions. 'I felt.' When I started noticing how this was affecting my life and my relationships, I didn't like this trait at all. Also, I didn't like it because, with my new understanding of Christ, I realized that this behavior was not in line with the fruits of the spirit. Something had to give. I started doing the work. Praying that I would be slow to anger, praying for God to take out of me whatever is not like Him, asking Him to heal the broken parts of me, and asking Him to come and interrupt the way I've always thought about myself.
I also prayed for understanding and patience because I realized that my attitude was an impulsive reaction that didn't care to understand the true nature of things; it just wanted to defend my ego.
I needed to have patience with myself to recognize that this attitude think wouldn't just be plucked out of me like it was never there. And because of that, I couldn't beat myself up for the moments that I did lose my cool. It would be counterproductive to feel like I don't measure up to the kingdom of God because I had this behavior. It would be as if I didn't believe that God could take care of this thing.
I believe that God has given me these feelings towards my old actions so that I would desire for change. And in this desire, I can bring it to Him just like Paul did in 2 Corinthians 12:6-7, and ask for His assistance. Before I started growing and maturing, this bad attitude didnt seem like a problem to me. But, do you see how knowing God and His commands more deeply changes this? He wants us to love what He loves, and in turn, we will hate what he hates. For me, it was my bad attitude; for you, it may be your appetite for idolatry or your laziness. Whichever it is, God will eventually bring you to a place where you will recognize that a change has to occur, but that has to come about through the growth process.
So every time you discover a flaw or recognize that some thoughts or feelings keep re-emerging, do not disqualify yourself from the worthiness of God. He doesn't disqualify you from His love and grace. Instead, He opens His arms towards you. I want you to remember that as you continue to grow spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. You are worthy, and your short-fallings will never change that as long as you keep your faith, hope, and love in Jesus. Be patient with yourself and show yourself a little grace. Trust that God can help you and remember what it means to be a child of God (2 Corinthians 5:17, 1 Peter 2:9).