Being a Christian carries a lot of weight as we have been called to a high standard. Yes, we have been called to a high standard but we are not flawless. We need to dispel the idea of a ‘perfect Christian’, there is no such thing as a perfect Christian.
We are all imperfect humans being perfected by the grace of God.
Everyone is battling their own demons behind closed doors. Some are battling with anger issues, others with addiction, lust, pride, envy and greed. But too many of us are hiding behind our ‘Hallelujah’s’ and ‘Amen’s’. Hiding keeps us bound to the behaviours, practices and thoughts that continue to get the better of us.
In order to gain power over our weaknesses there are a few steps we can take:
- Be honest with yourself
Before you can even start the battle against addiction, lust, pride, or whatever you are up against, you need to be real with yourself. You have to accept that you are struggling with this particular area in your life. If you don’t confront the issue at hand you will continue to live your life as if everything is okay and you will continue to be defeated.
No matter what you are going through, you have to take it to the cross. Never feel too ashamed to go to our heavenly father with your struggles. When we pray we invite God into the battle, for we know that it is only by his strength, his might, his power that we are able to overcome all things. Sometimes people get frustrated when they get told to pray, ‘’what is prayer going to do’’, ‘’I’ve been praying but I’m still struggling’’. But prayer is our lifeline and when we pray we should have the confidence that God hears us.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honour him.
- Identify the roots
When you battle with something for so long, it becomes easy to accept that it is a part of who you are. Just as good things come to us in seed form, so do negative things. Somewhere along the line that seed of lust, that seed of anger, that seed of pride was planted in you. The more you exercise these behaviours, the more you water these seeds and they eventually begin to grow roots and sprout. Often we don’t even know how these seeds were deposited in our hearts. And we can have so many things rooted in us that we are unaware of what is causing us to stumble.
Jeremiah 17: 9-10
9 “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things,
and desperately wicked.
Who really knows how bad it is?
10 But I, the Lord, search all hearts
and examine secret motives.
I give all people their due rewards,
according to what their actions deserve.”
The condition of our heart plays a big part in controlling our thoughts and behaviours. Only God truly knows the condition of our hearts. We don’t even know the things we carry in our heart. You think that thing is something you just struggle with, but that thing that has a hold on you has a place in your heart. We have to ask the Lord to search our hearts and uproot the things that are causing us to stumble from our lives.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
Only you know the extent of what you are battling with and sometimes we have to get real with ourselves. Being in certain environments may be a trigger for you so you may have to avoid certain places and find new spaces. We might also have to re-evaluate the company that we keep to ensure that we are surrounding ourselves with people that will encourage us and hold us accountable for our actions. In some instances we have really deep rooted problems that manifest in our behaviour so we may have to seek counselling services.
Whatever, your story may be don’t lose heart. Stay rooted in the word of God and continue fighting because it is not an easy race.
Keep running and don’t look back!
12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.
13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,
14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.