Back to the basics
This summer, while in Jacksonville on a mission trip, I sat with four of our upperclassmen guys talking about girls and dating and all of that. I’d known these guys all of 3-4 days at most. As we were sitting there hanging out, I remember telling them that I could tell them the exact type of girl that they were interested in and the type that they would go after.
They didn’t think I could do it.
I looked at the first guy and started telling him his type. His eyes got big and he couldn’t believe I got it right. Then I started in on the second. Then the third. And finally the fourth.
I went four for four.
One thing that has been consistent about me through all of my changes and growing up has been that I like to find trends. I like to figure out why people do the things that they do. It started with statistics in baseball and has grown into this gigantic “hobby” of mine. I love watching people and what they do. Once I get to know somebody I can generally tell you what they’re going to do before they do it.
I can normally use this “hobby” on myself too and last week I had to.
On Saturday afternoon, I went bowling with some friends. To be honest, it was more like a pathetic attempt at bowling. As I left I was frustrated that I did so bad. I figured I’d just shake it off and be alright by the time I got home.
Bit I didn’t.
The frustration that started from a bad day bowling started piling up and piling up and before I knew it, I wasn’t frustrated at bowling but rather pretty much everything.
I was frustrated with my attitude.
I was frustrated with the way my thought life had been.
I was frustrated with the temptations that were starting to come back into my life.
I was simply frustrated.
This is where my “hobby” came into play. I started looking back over my life in the week before and what had been different. What changed? Why was I slipping into thoughts and actions and temptations that I had such a good grip on in the weeks before?
And then it hit me:
My quiet time.
Last week I didn’t do very well in my quiet time. I’d miss a day here or there. I’d rush through what I was reading in my Bible. I wouldn’t spend as much time praying or listening for God to show me what he wanted me to learn through reading.
Basically, I put myself before God last week.
It’s amazing how big of a change there is in my attitude, my thought life, and my actions when I’m reading my Bible compared to when I’m not. I can keep a grip on all of my sinful desires when I’m consistently meeting with God and hanging out with him. Those desires take over and control me when I’m not doing those things though.
When I rely on Jonathan, nothing good comes from it.
When I rely on Jonathan, everything I do is wrapped in sin.
When I rely on Jonathan, I become a person that I’m not proud of.
This is my confession. This is me saying that last week I wasn’t the Christ follower that I am supposed to be.
Maybe you’re where I was just a few days ago. Maybe you need to take a step back and evaluate what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Maybe you’re at a point where you just need to admit you’ve been messing up and make a commitment to start making those things right.
The beauty of salvation is that we can keep coming back to God when we mess up and that he’ll be there for us every single time. We’ve just got to be willing to lay down our pride and admit that we actually do mess up and that we can’t do this on our own.
Then we have to get back to doing what’s right.
My goal for this week is to get back to that place.