Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Failing at Family, Working at Perfect

Did you ever feel as though no matter how hard you were working to be perfect, that you just keep failing your family? Honestly, I feel like that a lot.

In general, there are many people in my extended family that I wish I had better relationships with. Heck, I think I could do better in this area with every single member of my extended family most if not all of the time. But it is with my immediate family that my struggles overtake me the most. 

I think the urge these days is to think that we are so flawed that we can't ever be perfect, so we blow off the idea that we should even try.  But his inclination to lower the bar so to speak is why I think God always raises it.

In Leviticus, God says
For I, the LORD, am your God. You shall make and keep yourselves holy, because I am holy. Leviticus 11:44
And Jesus tells us
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48
It's always easy to pick and choose who I want to measure myself up to, but Christ reminds me that it is He that I am to be measured to. When doing so, it's always evident just how little I truly "measure up" and just how much I really need Him.

Why oh why does it seem as though the more time I set aside for prayer, the more time I examine myself in the light of Christ, that something always "comes up" and that "old me", the short-tempered, impatient, rush-to judgement me comes blaring out like a raving lunatic?

Yesterday there seemed to be a lot of "pressure" to get the children dressed, get Brandon to school, and to get the van to the dealership (with Monica tagging along of course). There was a moment there, like so many others, that I could see so clearly what Kendra and the children were all doing so wrong, thwarting my plans at making a productive day out of a potentially boring and futile one.

Of course, I lost my cool. Of course I had to let them all know that I knew what a conspiracy they were all a part of in hindering my wonderful plan. Of course I had to, once again, set a bad example for my family.

Accused or Convicted

Of course I began to feel accused of what a worthless husband and father I can be so much of the time. Of course I heard a voice telling me "You're trying to be perfect, but you're always failing your own family."

Well, while the facts about my reactions and their lack of Christian example are correct, I thank God that I am learning to sift through those accusatory voices, remembering that accusation of itself is not from God, while true conviction surely is. .

And this is the entire point of this post. That the voice of God is usually a "whisper" of conviction just beneath the "noise" of the accusation.

Brushing aside the accusation, I was able to hear the voice of true conviction, telling me that while it's true that I fell again, falling is not the same as failing. Falling is an opportunity to stay down or to get up. Failing is choosing to give up, to stay down, to quit trying.

Jesus loves Rocky Balboa

We have the greatest example in Jesus falling, but continuing his torturous journey to Calvary. Or if you're goofy like me, you might even have a flashback to the Rocky movies with Mick telling Rocky, "I didn't hear no bell!" Hey, the Lord works in mysterious ways.

I see so many great things in my family, and I know that God is working in all of our lives. I know that his enemy hates us and wants to keep us distracted from God. But I thank God, that even in all of my FALLings, He is there to remind me to keep working at perfect.

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