“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” I Thessalonians 5:11 NIV
One day my daughter and I were at the playground and she wanted to try the monkey bars. She’s a very cautious little soul and a far cry from a “dare devil”. Assessing the situation she says, “Mommy, why when you try new things you fall.” I replied, “Because with new things, you don’t quite know how to do them yet so you have to learn. Sometimes you get help and sometimes you just practice practice practice.” And her proud reply was, “Practice makes perfect!!”
As she dodged the monkey bars and went to the swings I pondered on her question, “Why when we try new things do we often fall?” I thought about some of you, myself, and the women that inbox me about my walk with Christ. Often times when you are either a new believer, or trying to learn a new godly behavior, sometimes you fall. Not fall as in fall from grace, but fall as in stumble, or trip. You don’t quite get it yet.
How many times have you said to God, “Lord I’m going to live right! I am not going to have sex anymore until I’m married.” Only to find yourself lying there in the dark looking at the ceiling, defeated and embarrassed as the guy lies next to you peacefully sleeping. How many times have you said, “Lord, I am not going to deal with gossiping anymore; I am done with tainting my spirit and being an accessory to this foolishness.” Only to find yourself deep into a juicy phone conversation about the relationship you “heard” was about to end in a divorce. Or even, you promised God that you would read your Bible daily, only to remember 8 days later that you forgot about the promise and can’t find your Bible anywhere.
Along this Christian journey there are highs and lows, ups and downs. We try so hard to get it just right and sometimes we even fall. I’ve been there, you are not alone. Even “seasoned” Christians go through these falling periods. If we all were perfect, we wouldn’t need grace and mercy now would we? Don’t be mistaken, you do get to a point where you are able to judge your own actions and determine if it is pleasing to God, but you may miss the mark in your quest for obedience. Paul even figuratively shares that he was inflicted with a thorn in his side to keep him humble. Your thorn may be a scar, an STD, or some other type of blemish. But God reassures Paul when he says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
I told my daughter that sometimes you need help with new things. I believe that everyone should have a mentor. I have a spiritual mentor, wife mentor, mom mentor, professional mentor and the list goes on and on. They are people that are not necessarily in “higher” areas of Christianity, but they are more experienced and serve as tangible vessels that God sent me. When I feel like I’m falling, want to fall, or have fallen, my mentors are there to give me godly advice and encouragement. The next thing I told my daughter was “practice makes perfect.” The more you work at, the better you get. I’ve often told my mentees, the more you practice, the louder your Holy Spirit gets. If you are not trying to live a life of spiritual godliness, your conscience is flesh-led. But when you decide to have “help” from the Lord, your conscience submits to the Holy Spirit and it speaks from within. (Read about the Holy Spirit as your helper in John 14.)
Some of you reading this are pretty frustrated with your walk. God told me to write this to you a few days ago, but I couldn’t seem to pull it together until now. I want to encourage you with this scripture, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9 NIV) The Holy Spirit is a helper and a sustainer. You may stumble sometimes in this walk, but you’ll realize that these “stumbles” actually propel you forward to a closer walk with God.
Please forgive me for all of my sins. Those I have committed knowingly and unknowingly. On this quest of living a life more pleasing to You, please plant people in my life that will hold me accountable to Your ways. Help me to recognize Your Spirit and heed to its instructions. When I stumble, help me to realize that You are able to keep me from falling so that I can dust myself off and keep going. These setbacks are just a set up for my blessing. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Sistah Girl, I EMPOWER you today to keep going. Don’t get discouraged or feel that your walk with Jesus is in vain. This walk is a process, “So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (James 1:4 NLT) When you hand over your problems, your walk, your faith, and your desires to Jesus, you can say, “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 1:24 KJV) KEEP AT IT!! Allow Psalms 121 to minister to you.
Read a related EmpowerMoment: Living Saved is an Inside Job
As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is College Biology Instructor. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Higher Ed and Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV) She teaches Young Adult Bible Study and Sunday School and also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment. Khalilah resides in Millbrook, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their energetic three-year old daughter. They attend St. Luke Christian Church. Check out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here.