Let God Let You Be Your Very Best You

By: Marcy Barthelette

Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence…Love others as well as you love yourself.” Portions of Matthew 22:37,39 MSG

Have you ever felt that no matter how hard you try, you just can’t get anything right? Of course you have…it’s a human condition. For instance, my husband rushes through the door with a bag in his hand and excitedly proclaims that he just found something I’m really going to like. He unveils his precious “find” and my response creeps out before I filter it; “Why did you think I would like that?”

His crestfallen expression immediately induces feelings of remorse, but the words are out. I can’t stuff them back in and there’s no way that I can cushion the blow that my careless comment has dealt. It doesn’t matter that I was in the middle of concentrating on an article or a drawing or maybe even rearranging kitchen cabinets. I needed to think before speaking. It is the bane of my existence and Ken’s as well. I’m an immediate person, sometimes I just need a roll of duck tape for my mouth, and he’s a more contemplative soul. So, how do we solve this issue of totally opposite personalities. To be honest, sometimes we don’t do a very good job and sometimes feelings are hurt. That’s when we both usually take a time-out.

After he grinds the rust off a few old tools or sands a wooden handle to perfection and I have everything in my cabinets aligned the way I want, at least for that day, we spend some time together remembering why we are a couple and the promises we made a long time ago. We also recall the person God has called us to be. Sometimes the word “sorry” enters the conversation, but, as often as not, we just get back to being us. We’re pretty confident in who we are as a couple but we continue working at making us better every day.

The bigger question is, do we work as hard at being what God wants us to be? Pastor Dennis asked us Sunday if we choose to adhere to what scripture tells us over what society lures us to accept. Do we dive deep into scripture in order to learn God’s plan or do we fill our days with every kind of materialistic self-improvement tip or product designed to lure us down the pathway of self-importance? Like it or not, we’re all guilty of making a wrong turn. The Good News is that God doesn’t demand that we come to Him in perfect running order, we just need an honest, repentant heart, and the will to change. He’ll help us with the rest.

Don’t become so well adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God…God brings the best out of you, develops well-informed maturity in you. Romans 12:2 MSG

We were left with a final question on Sunday and it’s a very important one. How do we interact with those who engage in behaviors that do not conform to God’s word without becoming a part of those behaviors. That’s not a Pastor Dennis quote but just a different way of verbalizing it. How do we love the person but not the behavior and still make that person feel loved. I can tell you, I struggle with this question more often than I would like. The only answer I can offer is that if we stay closely attached to our Father, the vine, we will grow into strong branches that will encourage good fruit. We need to be always aware that God made every single one of us and he doesn’t want to lose even one of His precious sheep. We need to remember, “There but for the grace of God, go I?

We often hear the phrase, “be in this world, but not of it.” It isn’t biblical but is appropriate in this context. We’re all on a journey in search of home. The choices we make on this journey will determine our eternal home. We are no better or no worse than anyone  else, and whatever we’re hanging onto that separates us from Him, we need to “Let Go and Let God.” If we can walk the walk, and talk the talk every day that we live, perhaps someone else will be encouraged to make their own decision to answer His call as well. Isn’t that what he asks of us?

And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 NLT

Sometimes I like to consider a passage from different perspectives. The Message expresses this passage, another of my favorites, very well.

But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love. And don’t take yourself too seriously—take God seriously.
Micah 6:8 MSG

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