My 22nd birthday was spent switching from a gospel song by William Mcdowell -‘Expecting’ to Young Thug- Webbie. At some point my friends got tired of my indecisiveness or rather mood swings when it came to the atmosphere that each song created. I laughed about it and weeks later I came back to it and I started questioning my own inconsistencies.
It happens to the best of us one minute we marvel at God’s truth that has set us free and the next we voluntary put those chains back because it is what we have always known . Sometimes it is easier to go back to what you know than to wait on a future that has been promised to you because it requires so much more growth. Truth be told, we are not willing to grow up, to want something more than what we have always known. I remember the first time I encountered God’s truth, I realized just how wrong I had been about my own life and I remember thinking there was no way I would ever go back to my own ignorance or to even pretend like I didn’t know any better.
So with this newfound awareness of the freedom that was in God I couldn’t understand how some people could have a double mind. How in one minute they could portray themselves as being free then continue living like they had chains which they couldn’t break free from. In my silly and childish ways, I would judge these people, I started to believe that I was better than them because I would never be like them. How can you know something to be true and yet fail to live by it . ( clearly I wasn’t aware of our own nature lol)
In a little less than a year I became exactly like the same people I had judged I started backsliding. That’s perhaps God’s sense of humor, the way he chooses to humble us when we start to feel like we are better than others. I was so ashamed of myself and I felt so hypocritical for hating something in others that was only a reflection of myself. I found myself slowly losing the core truth that had set me free or rather pretending like I didn’t know any better. I realize now that there is a cost to everything freedom is not so free and ignorance isn’t so free either you pay for it all one way or the other.
What I had failed to realize at the time is that no one rejoices in failing to do what is right. Although at times it can be fun in the moment to act ignorant, when we are away from all the noise and all the distractions we realize just how lost we are. We become fully aware of how much we want to get back to that space in time where we were simply in awe of what God had done.The place where no one could convince us that there was anything more greater than simply sitting in his presence.
I wish I would have been more compassionate to the people whom I had judged to be double minded or backsliders. If I had offered a word of encouragement and simply said ‘ you will get through this you will get back to the the place of stability and consistency don’t be too hard on yourself’. Instead I pointed my own dirty little fingers at their own weaknesses. I had forgotten that regardless of what they had done throughout the week just making it to church after convincing yourself that you were not worthy to seat in his presence was enough for that season. It is a struggle, A REAL struggle to come again, to try again and to know that everyone is looking at you judging you based on who you were the night before.
I think part of what keeps us in that state of shame and unworthiness is that we perceive that God sees us the same way that everybody else does. This is the furthest thing from the truth, He wants our brokenness not who we pretend to be on the Sunday when we look our best but yet our hearts are still so far away from him.
What I’m learning is that you need to Stay true to who you are, to avoid sacrificing what you know to be the truth for temporary satisfactions. It will fade just like everything else in this world. If you find yourself backsliding don’t stay away from God in an attempt to hide from his conviction. Do not be ashamed to admit that yes I have failed, If it means you look like a hypocrite to rest of the world so be it. Only you know the battle that you have to confront each time you choose to do what is right no matter how many times you have chosen to do what is wrong.
There is so more to you than who you used to be or who everyone thinks you are. At the end of the day when you run out of excuses you realize that you are only playing yourself when you choose to pretend like you do not know any better.