Thursday, September 1, 2011

Faith Spotlight: Faith

Hey, guys! I have a treat for you today. My friend Faith is here today with a really great post. I don't know about you guys, but I am a recovering perfectionist. Often I will beat myself up over the mistakes I make and my imperfections. So without further ado, here is Faith to share her heart!

Hello, readers!  My name is Faith.  In June, I married my high school sweetheart, a young man whom I started dating over five years ago!  We are very happy together, and we currently live in a cute, vintage apartment in downtown Chicago.  

I blog at Sojourn of Faith, enjoy photography, and share with my husband an undying appreciation for French press coffee, ice cream, and NCIS. In December, I will graduate from Moody Bible Institute with an undergraduate degree in Biblical Studies and Communication Studies!

I am a student of the Bible and theology, but my knowledge of God does not always nurture my relationship with God.  I primarily grapple with fear.  I am a timid, insecure perfectionist who overemphasizes failure and continually overlooks the grace of God.  Somehow, in my self-centered universe, God loves everyone but me.  My soul is less worthy, my personality more flawed, my hypocrisy more hypocritical, my failures less forgivable.  This sort of misguided martyrdom is rooted in narcissism and breeds paralyzing fear.

It is healthy to be grieved by sin.  This grief squeezes my heart and beckons me to return to the Lord.  However, it is not healthy to entertain ongoing guilt for forgiven sins.  Jesus said to woman in Luke 7, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”  He did not say, “Your faith has saved you, but your sin was especially awful, so please sit in the corner and mull over your stupidity.”

I John 1:9 reads, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  These words are deeply encouraging.  My God is just, but he is also faithful to forgive, faithful to wash away my terrible decisions.  I must receive this forgiveness with joy and determination to “go and sin no more”!  Living in shame after I have been forgiven does not glorify my Savior.  It depreciates the cross of Christ and spurns his ability to bear my sins away.

I cannot love God rightly if I allow fear to feed unnecessary guilt.  This fear turns my attention from God and to myself, to my self-image and self-definition.  This fear causes me to “need” more stylish outfits, a better decorated apartment, a more attractive personality, a better work ethic, more followers on my blog, a better singing voice, etc.  This need for “more” and “better” breeds insecurity and discontentment.  Insecurity leads me to compare myself to others, and I become reluctant to use my talents at all.  This self-focused mentality leaves my heart discouraged and my ministry utterly fruitless.

I am incapable of building my own significance.

My identity is found in Jesus Christ, my Savior.  I am significant because I am a daughter of God, a coheir with Christ, fearfully and wonderfully made, a workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works.  Please pray that I will surrender my fear!  It is my prayer that I will walk in a manner worthy of the calling, joyfully celebrating the God who has given me a name.

Go in peace.


JessicaElyse {} said...

Wow! So powerful. Thanks for letting Faith post.

Cassidy Robinson said...

Wow, great words! I just read another blog today on fear. The Lord must be telling me something! :)

Emily said...

Absolutely loved this!

One of my favorite lines: "I cannot love God rightly if I allow fear to feed unnecessary guilt."

So so true.

Great spotlight, Jen!!

Emily w/Amazing Grapes

Gennean said...

Love this post - thank you for the lovely reminder that perfection is not our goal, godliness is! Blessings!

Anonymous said...

Amen! Thank you for this post! I, too, am a recovering perfectionist, and so often fear creeps into my life and burdens me with guilt and shame. This is a great reminder of the undeserved blessing to have a Creator who calls us to do HIS works, not our own.

Alexis Kaye said...

I really love this. If there's one thing I've discovered with blogging it's how much GOOD there is in this world. There are so many good to teh core people out there :) thank you!

Callie Nicole said...

"It is healthy to be grieved by sin. This grief squeezes my heart and beckons me to return to the Lord. However, it is not healthy to entertain ongoing guilt for forgiven sins."

I love that! I struggle with ongoing guilt about sins that I've already been forgiven of, so I love this reminder.


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