I remember when I was at North Greenville University, one of my professors returned an essay to me. The grade was decent, but something in her comments stood out. She said, “Your paper was on topic, but I think this was by accident.”
Three years later, and I still remember the remark. She had hit the nail right on the head. I overthought and over-complicated the assignment to the point that my words weren’t making sense and the essay’s question wasn’t really being addressed. Also, this was during a time when I wasn’t confident in my skills as a writer or my smarts as a student, so I rarely (sorry to all my professors who will ever see this) looked back over my essays. I was scared I would spot a mistake or something that would induce me to begin again.
To sum it all up, I was a distracted wimp. If I focused more on answering the question instead of putting up a facade of academic intelligence, I would have scored higher and done the assignment correctly. If I hadn’t been such a perfectionist (to a fault), I would’ve been more willing to reread the piece and see the issues of it.
1 Peter 1:15 reads, “But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do”.
Brothers and sisters, our purpose is simple. I know we want the exact answers regarding our particular circumstances, but rather than making an idol out of our situations, we need to return our focus to the voice and guidance of the Holy Spirit. We are not on this earth to be self-centered, unfocused, and wimpy. God has given us a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
Even last night as I was talking to my family, I realized how selfish my thoughts tend to be. I’m contemplating and worrying about my next step, forgetting that I’m not the only person in the world going through something. The easy thing to do would be to continue in a way where our focus is turned inward and our hands are immobilized. It requires nothing sacrificial of us, and we are able to dwell in our self-pity as long as we desire.
But God has called us to be holy as He is holy. God knows we will mess up and makes mistakes, but He does expect something greater of us. Rather than dawdling in our sins and selfish thoughts, we are to repent and refocus. This life is no longer just about us–our comfort, our pleasure, our happiness. Our fulfillment is not in those things. We are only made whole through and by the Holy Spirit. We need Him.
Do not be afraid of introspection or of asking God to search your heart (Psalm 139:23). Do not be so self-righteous that you try to earn His favor by works and commitments. Learn to find peace in the silence and the waiting. Learn to seek His face on the mountaintop and in the valley, in the good times and in the difficult seasons. We are here on this earth to draw near to Him and to bring the joy of His salvation to others. That, friends, is our purpose. Once we begin to understand God’s heart, the more specific plans He has for us will become the natural fruit from the roots we’ve established in Him and the tree we have grown together.