Thursday, August 18, 2016
We often hear people say “I am who I am and I’m not going to change.” Different people employ this phrase for different reasons. Some, even when they know they are wrong, will arrogantly say it, almost as if they are proud of it. As children of God, and assuming we are honest with ourselves, we will make a genuine effort to change those things in our character that are amiss. I said all this to confess to you one of my character flaws, one which other children of God have repeatedly brought to my attention, implying that I need to change. To use their own adjectives, I am prone to being too soft, lenient, or forgiving, causing many to take advantage of me. Having said that, I imagine that some of you who are reading today’s blog share this same fault with me. That, in turn, has caused those who love you to be worried about you as well.
As I suggested earlier, most Christians will ask the Lord to help them change anything in their character that does not honor Him; I am no different. By the same token, those who are convinced that what they do is not against God’s will, will not seek change even though others around them advise them to do so. Here is one example: Since the time I started in the ministry and continuing till today, every time I climb the pulpit or approach the teaching lectern, I feel nervous. Most of those to whom I have confessed this to, will almost always say that I look perfectly comfortable and at ease when I’m preaching or teaching. All I can say to that is thank you Lord for your grace. Well, From the beginning I asked the Lord to Help me drive away my nervousness because other servants of God advised it, and although I’m far from being highly spiritual, I sensed the Lord telling me He preferred me being nervous every time. This way, I would not trust in myself but on Him and would keep my focus on the task at hand.
I bet it hurts and really bothers those who love me, when they sense that certain people are taking advantage of me. I love them deeply for it and sincerely appreciate their concern. As far as taking advantage, however, I think we all do it, oftentimes without noticing it. In fact, I believe it is a natural human tendency. I also think this is what David had in mind when He wrote: “Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.” (Psalms 19:13 KJV) To me, a presumptuous sin is one where we subconsciously try to take advantage of God’s goodness presuming that He won’t mind or chastise us for it. After all, He loves us too much and is too forgiving. Big mistake! Bottom line: We all take advantage of others from time to time. Even so, I would rather permit others to do it to me, continuing to be who I am, because I prefer being soft, forgiving, even gullible, over becoming cold, callous, or uncaring.
God’s promise for today: (2 Corinthians 13:11) “Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.”