Today, we have GPS apps and map software available on our phones, or even installed in our car - few of us have to stop while driving and ask others for directions anymore. However, we still benefit from the knowledge and wisdom of other travellers. When we visit a new region of our country or travel overseas, we often consult guidebooks, reviews from other travellers, and recommendations from experts.
Our spiritual journey is the same. We can benefit so much from the hundreds of years of wisdom and experience that other Christians have left us as their legacy. When we read the writings of ancient pilgrims of the faith, we are able to look into the heart of another brother or sister in Christ. We can understand their struggles, appreciate their insight, and learn from their timeless faith in the Lord.
The wisdom of other Christians provides us with a bigger road map on our journey. We can see beyond what we've experienced and realize that we will be stretched and called to venture into unknown territory, places that have already been blazed by other believers who have gone ahead of us.
We are never traveling alone.
You know the person who criticizes you most quite intimately.
This critic's voice is always in your ear, pointing out what you should have done, mocking what you have done, and ignoring your rebuttals. While others may contribute to the criticism, usually we are own worst critics. We hold ourselves to an impossible standard that keeps us scrambling on a cycle of trying harder, failing, feeling ashamed, on and on. Throw in constant comparisons to others and the ups and downs we're bound to experience each day, and it's no wonder that we often struggle in our faith.
When we accept the free gift of salvation and embrace God's loving forgiveness through Christ, we no longer face condemnation from any source. Even when it seems easier to believe God has forgiven us than it is to forgive ourselves, we must learn to quiet our critic. As we grow in our faith, we become more aware of our true identity, God's child created in his image for good works.
God says you are worthy. Confidence comes from swimming in the depths of God's love. Don't believe what anyone else - including yourself - may try to tell you.
Many people think of themselves as "good" , …. willing to treat others kindly and to do what they can for the world around them. Many people fear that they're not "good enough", and so they try to do extra service and show extra kindness to others. However, if we're totally honest, no one is really good - at least , not in the sense the God is good.
No matter how nice, kind, caring and compassionate, we are still sinful. In this lifetime, we'll never reach perfection even as we're transformed by the power of God's Holy Spirit dwelling within us. We simply have to remember that God is the source of our goodness. He provides the standard as well as the power for all we need to do.
Although we'll never be perfect, we're already more than good enough...…. because of what Christ has done for us.
We can share this good news with others, so that others may experience God's forgiveness, grace and love.
Often we think of doing good as ….
- always saying the right thing,
- being prepared for any response or action from others, and
- always having something to give to those around us.
In short, " doing good " gradually becomes " being the best ". BUT... this is not what serving God and others requires. We don't have to be perfect. There's no competition and no "best" to achieve.
Doing good simply means.... living a life based on God's love, guidance, and generosity. It means just treating other people the same way you want to be treated. It's an attitude of compassion, understanding and acceptance that reflects the grace you've been given.
You don't have to be perfect. There's no "right way" to do everything in your day. You're only required to offer wholehearted efforts fueled by your love of God and his creation.
… Doing your best, you can rest in Christ's perfect love ...