Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sharing our Struggles

{Written By Miss Johanna}

There have been so many times throughout my Christian walk where I have felt utterly discouraged when I hold myself in comparison to others. Especially when I'm in the midst of a spiritual struggle. When I see how on fire others are for Christ, and than look at my own life and the strugglesd that I go through daily, I feel completely unworthy to be accepted by those who seem so pure and holy. Regrettably, this has evinced in me the tendency to keep my troubles to myself. Countless times I have felt unable, or perhaps unwilling, to share my secrets with anyone. Why? It's simple. Because there is always that little voice in my head which dauntingly whispers, "you can't tell her that you are struggling with this! She is such a better Christian than you! She would be appalled!" It wasn't until very recently that the Lord opened up my heart to a few important truths. Truths that changed my life.

Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, I seemed to forget that we are all sinners. Romans 3:23 says: "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Often times, when I look at the sins which have marred my life, I seem to believe that I fall shortest when compared to others. But in truth, are we not all equal when standing before God? Haven't we all sinned, and therefore, deserve eternal condemnation? Whether you lied or stole, whether you committed adultery or murder; do we not all fall equally short? In the same way, no matter what you have done the Lord's forgiveness is always enough to wash us clean.

Secondly; we all fail. Every time I am going through a spiritual struggle or conflict, I seem to believe that I must be the only one. When I looked at the lives of others, and saw how wonderful their relationship was with Christ, I was simply heartbroken at the thought of mine being so much less beautiful. It seemed that everyone's life was perfect; except for mine. It seemed that no one else had struggles; except for me. And of course, this made me want to keep it all in; all to myself. I didn't want anyone to know that I wasn't as perfect as they were. I was blinded to the fact that no one is perfect. I couldn't see that we all make mistakes. I was too focused on my own worries and struggles.

Until recently. I realized the truth. I stepped over my pride. I told of what had been on my mind. What I had been struggling with. What I needed help with. Where I had fallen short. When I had messed up. And how they could help.  And I asked them to pray for me. You see, when we share our troubles with others, we accomplish so many things. 

Firstly, we realize that we are not the only ones going through this. When we allow ourselves to share our hearts with others, we will always find that they too are going through something. When we tell others of our struggles, often times we gain encouragement from their experience. 

Secondly, it is no longer a secret. So many times, when we allow our struggles to remain secret, they can grow into something much bigger and more terrible. If we allow them too, they will poison our conscience and infiltrate our heart with fear. I believe one of the devil's greatest weapons is fear. He will tell us we are not good enough; he will tell us that we are an utter failure; and he will fervently try to discourage us to share our failures with other, because, as long as we do he will have the high ground. There is nothing like fear to block our minds from God's love and truth. Don't let it blockade yours. 

Finally, when we let others know about our struggles, they will be able to pray for us. James 5:16 says: "Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." You see, when we confess our shortcomings to others, they are able to wield the greatest weapon of all of all, just when we are unable to. They are able to intervene for us. They are able to strengthen us through Jesus Christ. They are able to defeat the devil through prayer. 

Sisters, if you are going through something in your life today I hope you have someone you can share it with. Don't let that little voice stop you when it says, "you can't tell her this! She is such a better Christian than you," because it isn't true. It takes courage. I know. But don't ever forget ...

We all fall short.
We all struggle. 
We all need help. 
We all need Jesus.

3 Words of Grace:

Rachel said...

That was such a beautiful post Miss Johanna! I agree with you very much! I find it amazing how when I am going through struggles, if I talk to my friends or parents, they will encourage me, and show me that I can find refuge in God!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing, Johanna! The Lord has actually been teaching me this same thing recently, and it's good to hear it from another sister. =) I had to realize that God wanted me to just seek to glorify and enjoy Him instead of comparing my life to "that other girl's"... That I should be focused on GOD, not on how "I'm not as good as her", etc.

May our Lord continue to fill you both with His unending love!

Miriam said...

Beautiful post, Johanna!!!