What I Do Instead

boss-432713_1280Some people love to give orders. Or maybe they just like to be in a position to give orders. They want to be the big guy in charge. The Boss. The CEO. But being in charge means having great responsibility.

Giving orders is a lot easier than teaching. But if those you’re ordering around don’t know how to accomplish their tasks, it can end up taking more time.

So you need a teacher. I know a guy.

His name is Jesus. Often called “Rabbi,” or teacher, He came to show us—by example—how to live. He didn’t pop in, give orders, then leave us to it. He started as we do, as a helpless infant, who grew into a child, then an adolescent, and a man. Through his day-to-day life, he left a lasting impression on the earth. Is it possible to live a perfect life?

For him, it was. With eternity’s sparkle in your eye, and full knowledge of what it all means stowed away in your mind, it is.

person-1281536_1280But is it possible for the ordinary, flesh-and-blood man or woman? Is it possible for me?

With Christ living in me, it is.

Am I always perfect? Do I always make the right decisions?

No, and no. One thing I always do is—make mistakes. I’m human. I may know what’s right to do, but I don’t always do it. Sometimes, I move too quickly. Sometimes, I speak too soon. And in that instant, I’m in the wrong.

But one thing is always available—God’s forgiveness. His forbearance. He knows I’ll make mistakes. Jesus covers them if I admit them and ask forgiveness.

If you need more proof, if my word isn’t good enough, open the Bible. Study the book of Romans. Try reading it in The Message version. Here’s a quick link: Romans 1.

Yes, I’m not the first, nor am I the last to fail at it. Honestly, sometimes I really suck at it. But it doesn’t matter. Because I know how to make it all better.

Remember Paul? He was a teacher, too. And he knew all about failure. Here’s one of my favorite passages from his letter to the Romans:

“It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question? The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different. [Romans 7:21-25 The Message]

“…to do something totally different…”

What I do instead of what I should do. What we all do, at one time or another. But I have presented you with the answer. Even when you do the wrong thing, all is not lost.

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