Hang in There – Don’t Give Up
Have you ever felt tempted to give up? A few days ago, after a wonderful day with the Lord, my guard was down and I walked into a volatile and unexpected situation, where I was publicly rebuked and shouted at. The person who did this had neither thought of others nearby who heard the onslaught nor my feelings. Perhaps they got out of bed on the wrong side! Perhaps they themselves were hurting because undoubtedly hurt people hurt people! The whole incident left me with an attitude of wanting to give up on these people! Why should I put myself out for them when they attack me like this? In my heart I even began to blame the whole organisation and not just the individual. It would have been so much better if I had not retaliated and risen in anger to the situation. Was it self-defense? Was my pride hurt? Was my response a fleshly one and not a spiritual response? I think that answer to each of those questions was clearly yes.
It took me a good while to get my spiritual equilibrium back. To apologize and ask forgiveness for my reaction was not difficult but getting over the sense of inner guilt and frustration was far tougher. Why does this sometimes happen, even after seeking to follow Jesus fully for more than fifty years is the deeper question I needed to answer.
Is this experience something that you are familiar with? It took me a couple of days to get over, but once again, as I confessed my sin, the blood of Jesus washed me clean and His peace returned. It’s been quite a while since I had experienced something like this, but I suddenly realized that this is so relevant to the topic of holiness. This is life – we do fall! The Psalmist said that we may stumble….but the Lord upholds us with His hand” (Psalm 37:27)
Don’t give up when you fall and don’t become depressed when you fail. Get up again, get back to the cross and let the blood of Jesus wash you clean. Remember David’s prayer: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me….Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (Psalm 51:10,12).
Excerpt taken from Michael Ross-Watson’s book, Pure: Holiness and Purity in Your Daily Life (Climbing Higher Daily Readings Book 1)