Tired of Trying? Let God Help You Improve!

Recently, I walked through our church building trying to look at each room with fresh eyes. I had been reminded of how accustomed we get to those settings we view on a regular basis. It’s easy for us to overlook aspects of those surroundings which might strike someone seeing it for the first time in a negative way.

So as I examined each room, I made a list of such items which needed our attention. However, even then I was very surprised when I came through a second time and spied some obvious needs I had failed to note the first time around. It just confirmed to me how blind we can be to such matters which are so familiar to us.

This exercise resulted in some of us spending one morning straightening up, getting rid of clutter, and touching up scuff marks on walls. Trash and other unusable items were thrown away, while other unwanted

items were donated to a local charity. There is still some work to be done, but at least we’re making headway.

Likewise, it can be helpful for us at times to try to look at ourselves, our hearts, our lives, our relationship with God, and our relationships with others with fresh eyes. We are so familiar with who we are and what we do that it’s easy to overlook certain weaknesses and faults. We can quickly see the speck in someone else’s eye, but we’re blind to the plank in our own eye (see Matthew 7:1-3).

When we examine ourselves in this way, we need to be brutally honest with ourselves. We don’t need to beat ourselves up, but neither should we gloss over those areas that need improvement and attention. Sometimes it might be helpful to ask someone we trust to point out any negative aspects in us which they see.

And we can spend time in God’s Word, letting it shine the light of truth on our character and conduct. It will remind us of God’s standards and can give us unchanging principles by which to measure ourselves.

We can also depend on the Holy Spirit to show us areas in our lives which need to be addressed. He will guide us into truth and is faithful to convict us of sin, righteousness, and judgment (see John 16:5-15).

Each of us is a work in progress. There’s always more growing to experience and more improvement to make. The problem is when we become blind to our faults and quit making any headway toward Christlikeness. We get used to the filth we’ve allowed to slowly build up in our lives. We no longer see the scuff marks of sin on our hearts.

We allow secondary things to so clutter our lives that they get in the way of what God wants us to be doing. Or maybe that clutter is hindering our witness for the Lord before others — our light for Christ is getting blocked out by a lot of other unnecessary junk we’ve allowed to accumulate in our lives.

So let’s ask the Lord to open our eyes to any blind spots in our view of ourselves. Let’s guard against getting complacent about those familiar areas of our lives. Let’s keep making headway in that ongoing process of being cleansed from sin, having hindrances to our walk with God removed, and being molded into the image of Christ.

Search me, O God, and know my heart…see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24).

– Rev. Tony W. Elder pastor of Wesley Community Fellowship Church

 

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