Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Own Worst Critic

Romans 7:15-25; 8:1
It has been a while since I have posted on my blog. There is a reason, and that reason is I have not “felt” like it. I know that sounds bad, but really, honestly, I have not “felt” like reading my bible, or spending time with God. I read my bible every morning and I also do my grocery list prayer, but to actually spend time with the Lord and have Him dig into my heart- nope, not lately.
I get like this sometimes. I get into a “funk”, that is what I like to call it. I start out on a good foot in the morning, but then, for some reason, the things that I desire to do that day go by the wayside and the things I did not want to do that day, that is what I find myself doing. After a day of that, I spend the next day harping on myself. I start to become my own worst critic. I start to get down emotionally because I did not take the time for God this morning, or I said I was going to get this, this and this accomplished and I didn’t. The next thing you know- I am in a “funk” and I am not reading at all, or praying at all, in fact I am not doing much of anything!
Paul tells us in Romans 7:15 “For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.” I find myself in the midst of this scripture this morning. I want to spend time with God and study and learn and grow, but I don’t. Instead I clean my house, serve my family, take a nap or occupy myself with some other menial task. I start working on the “goals” I have placed on myself. I want to do what is right, and not sin. Instead I find myself procrastinating and complaining, rather than working diligent and praying! “I am not a very good Christian” I will tell myself. There are days when I want to sit in front of the TV and just veg out- the kids and husband can fend for themselves for one day. Then, I hear, “What kind of mother and wife am I? Did not God call you to care for your family?” Oh, wretched woman that I am, who shall save me from this body of death? I thank God- through Jesus Christ!
You see, I realized something today- something I think we all need to hear, understand and embrace. It is okay when we do the things we do not want to do and don’t do the things we want to do. It is okay. I speak to so many women, and what I find is this, “we are our own worst critics”. We put so many expectations and goals upon ourselves, that when we fail to do them we become critical of our own walks as Christians. Our expectations, our hopes, our goals should be in the Lord, and nothing else. We as women are emotionally driven beings- admit it, you know you are. We become critical of ourselves and then fall into condemnation. What happens next? We stop spending time with God. I have said this before; it does not matter when or how you spend that time- just spend it.
As long as we are in this body of flesh and death, ladies, we will always have this inward struggle. But we need to understand that it is a spiritual struggle, and our responsibility in this war being waged in our beings is to get behind God. So what can bring us out of this? There is something that I always remember; something the Lord reminds me of when I get “funky”. Paul, Peter, James, John and all the apostles did not have bibles to study, or commentaries to read or preachers teaching them- they had the Holy Spirit guiding them and teaching them and bringing all that they knew to remembrance. That is when I realize that it is not about “doing” the daily routine, but it is about “Living and Loving” daily my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The apostles sang songs, they fellowshipped with other believers- it was not about the “daily” reading of their bibles. It was about their willingness to be in His presence in any way that they could.
My flesh will find every excuse in the book not to spend time with God, not to be in His presence- but my heart, oh, as long as my heart wants to be there- that is all God is looking at. God is looking at our hearts today and saying, “I love you, daughter. Yes I want to spend time with you, but not as a routine, I want to be with you every moment of every day. As you clean your house, as you drive the kids to soccer practice, I want to be with you.”
Ladies, may I encourage you today to surround yourself with Jesus Christ, your husband, your lover, your redeemer, your God. Even if it is worship music playing in the background while you work, or cook. Whatever it is that you are “doing” today, find a way to keep God there in the midst of you. And ladies, please, let’s stop being so critical of ourselves. For it is God who judges, and He adores you!
Lord Jesus, oh that we as your daughters would stop being so hard on ourselves. Lord, we are our own worst critics. We want to please, and be all that You have called us to be. May the chains of criticism and condemnation be broken this morning. Lord, help us to not look at what we “did not do” but at what You have already done. Help us to get our focus back on You and You alone. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.