Not even those who are circumcised keep the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your circumcision in the flesh. Galatians 6:13
Have confidence in your faith. Jesus chose you and you alone to be you. He’s satisfied with you as you are, and He loves you just as you are, warts and all. Sure, He wants you and me to turn from our sins and do better, but He loves us anyway. He wants to be your friend and brother because He’s God and it’s who He is.
Remember that when you get into the inevitable discussions about faith with people who don’t have it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve let myself get roped into “discussions” about faith with people who call me hypocrite, liar, and worse because I’m not perfect like Jesus; because I say I’m living to be more like Jesus but I’ve also said and done terrible things. Increasingly, I bow out of those discussions, especially if the other person devolves into name-calling. That doesn’t help. It’s a lesson a better man would have learned long ago.
More often than not, the people who accuse us of shortcomings are themselves guilty of terrible things themselves. I’m sure they have their motivations, maybe even reasons. Occasionally, some of those reasons may be valid, but most of the time they aren’t. That’s a generalization, but it’s accurate. Sometimes some people want others to hurt the way they hurt, and there are some people who set fire to things simply to watch them burn.
Paul knew this. He knew such people needed to be confronted, then stopped, and Paul didn’t shy away from doing so. Yet Paul also knew another truth that you and I know as well: Jesus died for all people. When we accept Jesus and all He’s already done for us, we’re accepting that our old lives have been crucified. He forgave all sin, including ours, including the things people would hold against us. It becomes our pleasure to focus on Him and where He’s leading us in going forward. The past no longer holds us.
Some folks don’t agree. They’ll judge and try to manipulate us, then justify it as they do. But Jesus forgave them, too; they’re included in “Jesus died for all people.” When we’re confronted, love, patience, and self-control get to be our go-to choices instead of knee-jerk reactions, anger, or grudges. That isn’t easy, and Jesus never promised our lives would be easy. But He did promise to abide with us through them, including the times when we get to respond to others. That becomes more apparent when we let ourselves become more confident in faith.
For further reading: Romans 6:2-6, 1 Corinthians 2:2, Galatians 6:14
Lord, I’m confident in my belief in You. Thank You that You have me where You want me.
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