I think my daughter might be a preacher like her daddy. She loves to imitate him with sincerity and spirit. She even makes her parents shout sometime. On the other hand, she might be a writer like her mommy. She's into writing letters and paper Bibles now. Just the other day she was writing something and misspelled a word. To correct it she wrote the necessary "e" on top of the misplaced "a". After completing her sentence, she looked back at her work and frowned. "But, I messed up."
"That's okay baby. You fixed it," her dad and I said, trying to make her feel better.
"But what if someone sees it. . . that I messed up?" she asked in fear.
At that moment, my protective mommy spirit erupted inside of me and my flesh was just seconds from spewing venom to all the imaginary naysayers. Can you imagine what I was saying? Certainly, the spirit is willing but sometimes the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41).
That was the first time that she had ever vocalized being concerned about what other people might think of her. Fearing that this attitude would persist, her dad and I tried to convey that it doesn't matter if other people see our mistakes or that we mess up. As long as God is pleased, then we should be pleased. I pray that our consistent affirmation and her growth in Christ will help her develop an identity outside of other people's expectations.
After that incident I began thinking about how, even as adults, we get so bent out of shape over what other people think. We even make critical decisions based on the opinions of othersW: who we should marry, where we should live, how we should behave. And God help us when we conform our relationship with God to someone else's expectations.
I've been guilty of this. I used to worry about what others might say if I worship freely. Who might be offended if I prayed openly. What man-made rules I would be breaking if I spoke God's truth boldly. What friends I would lose if I reprioritized my life around God and not them. I've been there and done that.
I guess that is why when I saw how the spirit of acceptance tried to take root in my baby girl I became internally irate. Because the spirit of acceptance --of needing to feel accepted and liked by others, even if it compromises your relationship with God -- is of the Devil. And God's Word says when we resist the Devil, he will flee from us (James 4:7). We all should be resisting the temptation to live for other people, while finding joy in living for Christ.
So you messed up. Who cares? We have all messed up. At some point in each of our lives we were probably a "hot mess." The good news is this: Christ came to clean up the mess. So, if you don't have any mess-ups because you have always been perfect, then you don't need Christ.
But as for me and my house, we need the Lord to wash us, cleanse us, and purify us. And as a human family, we need the Lord to clean up the messes we've been making since the beginning of time. If you need proof, check the Scriptures. The entire Holy Bible is record of our mistakes. We've written wrong letters, spoken bad words, and committed evil deeds. But praise be to God for looking beyond our faults and seeing our needs.
We need you Lord more than anything else. We rebuke the spirit of acceptance and cling to the spirit of adoption. We don't want to be accepted by others; instead, we desire to be adopted by you. In you are our security, our identity, and our power. Praise be to God.
Your Alabaster Tip of the Day: Rebuke any thought that places the opinions of others over the Truth in Christ. When you find yourself pondering what to do, ask the Lord first. Take it one day at a time, and you will begin to see the Godly spirit of adoption replace the evil spirit of acceptance.