As humans, we all have weaknesses. That is part of our nature. No one is perfect. It is really important to remember that when someone messes up. We need to have grace with others and ourselves. But can that be taken too far?
Patience is a virtue…that I really struggle with. I think it is probably one of the most difficult for all of us (next to self control). But I have heard others say (and even said myself) “I don’t have patience” as an excuse. Some are not good housekeepers, but use that as an excuse to not clean their houses. I have heard many say “no body’s perfect” as an excuse for falling into temptation and sinning. I have heard Christians use a lack of self control as an excuse to get drunk, or PMS to excuse irritability.
Of course, we can’t expect any one to be perfect, and we need to have grace in the event of mistakes, but it can be abused. We should accept our weaknesses as part of our humanity, but we should also see those as areas where we need God’s power, places that we need to overcome. We should not see our weaknesses as a place to stay, we should strive to move beyond them.
Romans 12:1-2 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
1 Peter 1:14-16 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
The beauty of the Gospel is that God loved us when we were the most unlovable, called us when we were helpless and unworthy, and accepted us as we were without requiring us to earn it or change before. BUT He never meant for us to stay there. I love the saying, “He loves us enough to accept us as we are, but He loves us too much to leave us that way.” And that is pivotal in a Christian. We need to accept His grace for our mistakes, but we should not accept our mistakes as the status quo. We need to strive for holiness and perfection while accepting the fact that we won’t fully achieve it until we reach heaven.
There is a delicate balance between having grace for our sinful state and remaining there. What makes the difference is that when we fall we repent and strive for holiness again, rather than staying in that pit, or regarding it as inconsequential. We need to realize that God hates sin, and while He accepts us and loves us as sinners, our sin deeply grieves Him. Our love for Him should motivate us to put away what He hates. Just as our love for a spouse would motivate us to stop some habit or activity that hurts the one we love, we should do the same for God. God calls us to holiness, all the while knowing that we would fall.
We need to stop using our weakness as an excuse to be weak. We need to take responsibility for what we do, acknowledge our sin, and turn from it. That is how we “prove our salvation.” Without repentance or that desire to serve God, we have nothing to show that we are saved. We cannot bear fruit if there is unrepented sin in our lives, and our fruit is what shows who we belong to because a tree always bears fruit according to its kind. If we do not bear God’s fruit, we are not of God.
So when you fall, when you mess us, remember that God loves you anyway, and that He will help you back up. He will help you clean up the mess. He will help transform you, if you will repent and turn to Him. Don’t accept where you are as where you have to or should be. Shoot for heaven and you will get there.