“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
II Corinthians 7:1 NKJV
Children today receive trophies whether they win or not. While I realize it is important to nourish a child’s self esteem, I personally feel this fosters a sense of entitlement, rather than true pride in their accomplishments.
I can’t help but wonder if this same sheltering hasn’t spilled over in the Body of Christ, the Church. I believe the love of God is what draws man to repentance, but the experience of spiritual birth is just a beginning. From there we begin a growth period, feeding on the Word of God to develop spiritual maturity.
My parents didn’t expect the same things from me at two years old as they did at ten. I didn’t doubt their love because they disciplined me. I had a healthy fear (respect) for their authority. I knew if I disobeyed, I would face the consequences. God’s grace offers forgiveness of our sin, but it doesn’t shield us from the consequences.
God’s Word says, “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) Grace doesn’t just save us – as amazing as that is; it empowers us to overcome the strongholds in our life.
Hide God’s Word in your heart. It is the key to spiritual growth and conquering sin. We will never perfect Holiness in this life, but that doesn’t give us an excuse to stop trying. God understands our struggles, but He expects us to partner with Him in the ‘renewing’ of our minds. (Romans 12:2)