For the last week I've been trying to lose weight! My doctor told me that I needed to drop 20 lbs. or there could be problems for me down the road. After a week, I've lost 8 1/2 lbs.!!! Pretty good, right? I'm committed to this and I will drop the 20. Eat the right stuff, eliminate the bad stuff.
People are starting to notice the change in my appearance. My face isn't quite as chubby as it was a week ago. I now only look 5 months pregnant. My butt - well, you know. Smaller. This diet of mine is working! Eat the right stuff, eliminate the bad stuff.
So here's the thing...it's so easy to look at our spiritual lives the same way. Do the right things, don't do the wrong things - then God will be pleased with you. I call this "sin management" and if I'm being really honest, I lived my life this way for a long time. I mean, I understood that Jesus paid for my sin - sort of - but I lived my life like my salvation was free for 90 days and in that time I had better get myself together...OR ELSE! I thought that past a certain point, it was on ME and my ability to manage my sin. If I didn't, surely God would withdraw His sweet gift.
Well, that's crap, and I'm learning to accept that I can't do it. I can manage my sin very well at all. The Apostle Paul couldn't either. He said, "Everything I don't want to do, I do - and everything I want to do, I don't do!" He was messed up just like you and me. He needed a Savior just like you and I need one.
I am learning to believe what the Bible says about me. That Jesus died to pay for ALL of my sin - past, present and future! ALL OF IT taken care of by Him. Once and for all! Finished! And because the Gospel is true, my identity is now anchored in who HE says I am...and He calls me His dearly-loved child. And I can't screw this up!!