I’ve decided to start a new blog series. The title for this series is the “Things I Need to Tell Myself.” The reason for this title is simple: I find that I need to tell myself many things, very often. This isn’t new to me. In fact, for the most part, the things I need to tell myself are the same things that I’ve told myself many, many times before. Most of these things are very important for me to remember, and yet, I continually struggle to remember them.
My wife tells me that my memory is failing due to age (59-years old). My coworkers would affirm her assessment. They know that when I tell them I’m going to do something, I will most likely forget what I said in the short walk from their office to my own. I’m thankful for their graciousness in my “elder moments” (and maybe a little thankful that I don’t hear as well anymore either).
However, I find more often that the things I need to remind, or tell, myself are things that are more meaningful than a few missed tasks. The cause of my “memory loss” is much deeper than simply getting older. There are two primary reasons: I am a fallen human being, and I’m very resistant to change.
My fallenness is hereditary. I’m a descendant of Adam, the “committer” of the original sin (Gen 3). Therefore, I am from birth, a human being tainted by sin. How thankful I am for Jesus, the savior of my soul and my fallenness. At a young age, he rescued me from a sentence of death and gave me a new life to live in this present world, and more importantly, for all eternity. However, some of the impacts of my fallenness are the source of my struggle in the present. Having to tell myself the same things over and over is part of my existence as a fallen human being, albeit a rescued one.
And yet, there’s more than just fallenness that causes me to have to remind myself of things. I am also very resistant to change. Yes, Jesus has saved me and given me new life. But there’s more to his salvation than being brought from death to life. He aims to transform me from unrighteousness to righteousness. In God’s eyes, I am already seen as righteous, because when he sees me, he sees Jesus. His righteous blood covers my unrighteous acts. But praise the Lord, Jesus doesn’t intend to leave me in my unrighteousness. He seeks to transform my life to become like he was when he lived on the earth.
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.Romans 12:1-2
Notice in verse 2, there’s a command to no longer conform to the world, and that comes by choosing to renew my mind in spiritual things that are good, acceptable, and perfect. It’s a choice that I must make. And yet, the work in my mind is not mine alone. Verse 2 also says that I’m being tested so that I learn what the will of God is in and for my life. God is actively working to bring about what is good, acceptable, and perfect (according to Him) so that I will live a transformed life.
But again, I’m very resistant to change. As a continuation of my fallenness, I struggle to change my mind about things. At times, I resist looking at things differently. I am prone to personal resistance and forgetfulness. I need to constantly tell myself the ways I need to be transformed. And very often, they tend to be the same things over and over. Here’s a sample of some of the things I need to tell myself that I might explore through this series.
- Be angry and do not sin.
- Loving your enemies.
- Who is my neighbor?
- Does God really choose?
- Following Jesus is a moral choice.
- Judging versus discerning.
- Is everything that happens “for my good”?
God has taught and continues to teach me many things. My intent with this blog is to share them with you in the hope that you are encouraged in your struggles. Living life together means that we are helping each other as we are “being tested” (Romans 12:2) to learn God’s will for us. Life is easier when it is shared with others. One of the ways I hope to help is by sharing with you the things that I need to tell myself again and again. As always, if your mind is piqued by what I share, then let’s have coffee and talk about it more.
Thanks for reading.