Ms. Goody Two-Shoes. Rule-follower. Frowns on those who repeatedly break the rules. From the time I invited Jesus Christ into my heart as my Savior at age 12 and even before, I’ve desired to obey Him because of my love for Him. I’ve also experienced the blessings of obedience and encourage it all the more.
However, I’ve also had to crucify pride and self-righteousness that have easily and unsuspectingly reared their heads when I’d previously compare what sins I hadn’t committed to what other people had done.
Prior to being saved, I lied about the smallest things to my parents to avoid punishment (ex: blaming my brother for the last bottle of soda consumed, or blaming him if something got broke). After getting saved, if my mom said something that I knew was untrue, I’d correct her. Finally, one day she said, “Nikki, stop it with that holier than thou stuff!!” (She was a Christian too)
I’ve come to understand, as the Scottish Baptist evangelist and author of My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers (1874-1917), said: “As long as our eyes are upon our own personal whiteness we shall never get near the reality of Redemption. Workers break down because their desire is for their own whiteness, and not for God.”
We will never be perfect. We are imperfect vessels. Yet, for those of us in relationship with Christ Jesus, we are being perfected through the righteousness of Christ. We are saved not by our record, but by Christ’s record. I don’t have to prove anything to Him. I don’t have to be perfect. He loves me regardless. He chose me for His work before I was formed in my mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5) and knew my faults. Yes, I desire to obey Him because I love Him—not to prove myself holier than thou.
Thankfully, He has chosen to use imperfect vessels like me and you to be co-workers with Him, to advance His Kingdom on this earth. We labor in this work as we continue to be sanctified/being made holy and shaped more into the image of Christ.
As an imperfect vessel, I share with you 10 things I shouldn’t do, but do anyway. 🙂
- Sometimes I eat dessert first. (My grandma’s voice repeats in my head saying, “You’ll spoil your dinner.”)
- Sometimes out of haste and laziness, I yank the cord from the wall rather than properly grabbing the plug from the outlet.
- Sometimes I wipe potato chip salt and grease on my jeans while consuming the entire bag in one sitting.
- Out of haste, I’ve shaved my brows instead of plucking, waxing or threading them (BAD move!).
- I don’t untie my tennis shoes when taking them off.
- I yank the one gray hair from my head that springs up occasionally (I know the tale about more gray hairs appearing if you do this. So far that hasn’t happened.).
- I imagine saying the words “I’m going to bust your (bleep)” if someone has done something that angers me.
- I still frown at people who disobey rules, particularly those that are clearly displayed.
- I’ve caved to cravings during a few fasts.
- Sometimes I stay up way too late watching 80’s TV shows (good TV!). Then end up hitting the snooze button in the morning. Ugh.
Thank goodness, He loves me anyway. Care to share your list? Yes, this could get interesting. 🙂
Nicole D. Hayes is the founder of Voices Against the Grain, a bold teaching ministry launched in May 2013. Nicole’s purpose in creating Voices Against the Grain is to be light in darkness, to boldly instruct truth amid confusion so as to bring clarity and restoration.
Learn more about Nicole D. Hayes here.