I thought I was ready for it.
I assumed I had thick skin.
I figured I could handle the critique of a stranger with a discerning eye.
I even requested it.
But I was wrong.
With each bullet point summarizing the problems she saw, I grew increasingly discouraged. By the end of her 672 word review, I was ready to shut down my blog for good.
I threw myself a grand old pity party.
And when it was over, I realized I hadn’t been seeking constructive evaluation. What I wanted was positive validation. I hoped her impartial eye would find my work brilliant and beautiful and inspiring.
When she didn’t, I felt like quitting. The work required to get my blog up to her standards sounded overwhelmingly exhausting. And much of it was outside my own ability to fix.
Sometimes I approach God’s Word the same way. It sounds really Christian and holy to ask God to change me. But is that what I’m really looking for when I dig deeply into the pages of Scripture?
I’d much rather read about how He loves me and I’m chosen and redeemed and precious in His sight.
Acceptance. Favor. Validation.
While those things are certainly there, I also find passages that reek of my own insufficiency and failure.
Stiff-Necked. Sinful. Condemned.
It can be overwhelming to recognize how far I still have to go on my journey of sanctification, of being made holy and perfect. Sometimes it makes me want to just throw in the towel.
And the Devil would like nothing better than for me to quit trying to become the MASTERPIECE God created me to be.
Just as this woman pointed out all the flaws in my blog design and content, the law identifies problems in our lives. Once I blinked back the tears and wiped the smeared mascara off my cheeks, I was able to look more clearly at her recommendations. That’s when I saw her response less as a painful personal attack and more as 16 areas ripe and ready for improvement.
We’ve been given the antidote for the transgressions that plague us, but that doesn’t mean we won’t still battle them daily. There are some sins I will likely struggle with until the day I die. But I if stop trying, the Devil wins. And that one sin left un-checked is likely to lead to more. The enemy manipulates our failures and wedges his way between us and the solution. The only way to keep sin from dragging us to our demise is to daily study the Word and allow it to inspire the change in our lives God desires.
The law provides impartial evaluation, but the gospel gives us eternal validation.
Together they point out our sin and its solution.
Even when the harsh realities of the law make me want abandon my progress, the hope of the gospel keeps me trudging along.
If we don’t evaluate where we are, we won’t know how to get where we’re going.
My blog may never live up to her expectations, but I know that I will be perfected when my Creator returns to establish His eternal kingdom.
Do you read the Bible seeking evaluation or validation? What areas in your life are ripe and ready for improvement? What encouragment keeps you moving toward becoming the MASTERPIECE God created you to be?
Dear Father, Thank you for the gift of Your Word that not only points out my transgressions but also declares me perfect by Your Son’s sacrifice. Help me to approach the areas of improvement with hope and a desire to become who You created me to be. Protect me from the approaches of the enemy and show me where I might be allowing him a foothold in my life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
“Let us examine and probe our ways, and let us return to the Lord.”
For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne Eller, Thought Provoking Thursday, Susan B. Mead, Faith Filled Friday, Grace and Truth, Faith and Fellowship Friday, Grace and Truth Friday, Good Morning Monday, Soul Survival, Monday Musings, Rah Rah Link Up, Tell His Story, Woman to Woman Wednesday, Women With Intention Wednesday, Sitting Among Friends, Word of God Speak, Testimony Tuesday.