“The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe; yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.”- Timothy Keller
“Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night.”- Psalm 51:1-3 (NLT)
In Chapter 5 (“Holding On When You’ve Messed Up”) of Holding On, Sheila Walsh stresses that negative messages possess loud voices. Therefore, we find it hard to ignore such messages. Because they’re like weights that pull us right back down to earth the second we try to rise. Hence, Sheila provides four tools to help us silence the lies.
1. Studying God’s Word. Sheila never lets a single day go by without reading God’s Word. In addition, she chooses a verse and meditates on it throughout the day. And no matter how she might feel at any given moment, Sheila reads what God says is true about her life.
Therefore, Sheila exhorts, find truth in God’s Word regarding your particular struggle. And, when you can, read it out loud. As often as you need to in order to silence the lies.
2. Prayer. To greet each new day in God’s presence, Sheila prays when she first gets up in the morning. But, she also talks to her Father all day long.
3. Worship. When we worship we take our minds off ourselves and focus instead on God’s love, faithfulness, and forgiveness. As Sheila puts it, “He’s the God of the messer-upper.”
4. Thanksgiving. Certainly, there’s great power in gratitude – giving thanks for God’s faithfulness and love. However, Sheila notes, it’s a challenge to express thanks when life is bad. Thus, Sheila thinks of thanksgiving as a choice, or discipline. Finally, the simple act of thanksgiving reminds us that (a) God’s with us and (b) He’s in control.
Today’s question: Do you see yourself as sinful and flawed, yet loved and accepted? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Attempts to fill voids = all sins”