This is not the Olympics!

                                                                      

It’s almost here! The 2012 summer Olympics from London.  Our family enjoys gathering around our TV, obsessively engrossed in watching the victories and the near-misses.  Right now, the world’s best athletes are practicing around the clock, perfecting their craft, trying harder each and every day to improve their performance–pressing on hard with the goal of bringing home the gold.

In the Olympics, as in any sport, victory comes from practice, dedication, and from trying harder.

But what about us God-girls?  Where do we claim victory?  When was the last time you confidently thought, “God, I really got this Christianity thing down, don’t I?”

Two weeks ago I was blessed to travel to the Reno mission field with three other God-girls, where we brought groceries and the Gospel to a small motel downtown called the “Castaway Inn” (how appropriately titled, huh?).  We met with each motel tenant and after they chose which groceries would most bless them (TV dinners, mac-n-cheese, and Top Ramen were some of the favorites), we asked to pray for them and we took turns praying.

One of us walked away feeling somewhat defeated by her “prayer performance”, saying, “I didn’t pray very well that time, my first prayer was better”.  It’s as if she were competing in the Prayer Olympics, with the Great Almighty looking down on her with His score card ready, saying, “I give that prayer a 9.5.  But that first one, that needed some work—I give it a 4.8”.  I saw my dear friend becoming her worst critic, and I saw Satan loving it!

We must remember, Satan is the great accuser.  Scripture assures us that accusation doesn’t come from God.

In fact, listen to the good news Jesus offers…

So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.  All who come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them (notice we will not give a perfect performance).  I am the door.  If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)

My friend’s precious heart and her great desire to bless others and glorify the Lord were weighing her down.

She was trying to try harder.

And what followed was self-condemnation. Can any of you relate to the following self-condemning, performance-based thoughts?

Lord, I really messed up the day.

Lord, I’m not the kind of mother you want me to be.

Lord, I can’t seem to get it right!

Sometimes, in our desire to please God, we can actually turn conviction into self-condemnation.  In our effort to try harder, we end up worried that we will never overcome our sins and find victory in our life.

God has something to say about who He is and what He wants from us, and thank God He’s not expecting a perfect 10!  Renee Swope says in her book A Confident Heart“God’s spirit will convict you, but His heart will never condemn you”.

Jesus tell us,

“Then neither do I condemn you…Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:9-11).

And last, we are to find peace, joy, and God-confidence in the following:

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.” (John 3:17)

So, for all of you who love a good competition, enjoy watching the Olympics this summer.  And remember, our Christian life is not the Olympics and our performance is not being scored.

Can I get an A-men!

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6 Responses

05.21.12

Do you know how much I adore you?? I love this… “Sometimes, in our desire to please God, we can actually turn conviction into self-condemnation. In our effort to try harder, we end up worried that we will never overcome our sins and find victory in our life.” Thanks for ministering to my self-condemning heart. I’m so glad you’re in my life! Blessings dear friend.

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Erin , love this post. This is soo true. I am so glad that you wrote this for me and others who struggle with this same issue. I am my own worst critic!! So glad God already knows I am not perfect and does not expect me to be!!! We will be watching the Olympics too. And by the way, I give this blog 10!!!

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05.21.12

Amen! Love this analogy!

Oh, Erin, our family LOVES the Olympics! We cannot wait to watch this summer! Definitely a favorite thing to do here!
Jenifer recently posted..Birthdays and SprinklersMy Profile

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05.21.12

Praising’ Jesus there isn’t a score card! I think the only thing we should be concerned about is whether we obey God or not. We could look crazy or do it all wrong but God’s “score card” would be much simpler: were His girls obedient or not. I’m so thankful Jesus was perfect so I don’t have to be bc I’d be in serious trouble!!;) Great post!!!

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05.21.12

Yes, God’s love is perfect so I don’t have to be!

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05.21.12

AMEN and I needed to hear that!!! Thanks!
Sarah recently posted..The Weird OneMy Profile

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