Saturday, June 23, 2012

What Makes a Good Christian:

Isaiah 64:6 
All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags..

Two and a half weeks ago, my husband and I welcomed our son into the world.  He has been such a joy and a blessing in our lives, and he has taken up much of our time along with his blessings.  

As I was falling asleep last night I was thinking about how little time I have actually had to myself lately.  Having two children under the age of two can be taxing on the minutes in the day.  Not only so, but my alone time with God has been little to none throughout the day.  I haven't read my bible much at all throughout the past couple of weeks, and haven't set foot in church either.  My prayer time has been limited, and when I do pray...they are self-centered prayers asking the Lord for energy, strength and wisdom.  No prayers for the poor, no prayers for peace, and no prayers for others. 

For a moment as I contemplated these things, I felt a twinge of guilt.  I felt like a "bad Christian".  I have been given so much, and lately, I have been giving back so little.  

It's easy to fall into the guilt trap, isn't it?  It's easy to look at all that God has done for us and feel embarrassed, ashamed, and  disappointed at what we give back to Him.  

But today I was reminded of something that has really shifted my thinking and challenged my beliefs: 

You see, what makes a good Christian is not how much we give back to Him, but how good we are at receiving his grace.  

His grace, again, and again, and again...

This is ultimately what the Christian life comes down to....a person who understands that no matter where you are in life, what you are or aren't doing, and who you are or aren't, we are all in need of God's saving grace to cover our failures and our failings.  Each and every single day.  

There is no shame in this because in this is the definition of the gospel.  In this is the definition of God's love, pouring down on us even when we are unable...or at times pour it back on Him.  And that is why we love Him, because He first loved us.  

I'm learning to apply these truths in practical ways this week.  I'm learning to receive God's grace and forgiveness over and over again throughout my days.  I'm learning to accept His blessings and his limitless love without a hint of shame or guilt.

I hope you will, too.