Anyone who knows Bill Welte knows that he is a voracious reader. He can go through 6 or 7 books a week. He will frequently give me a book he has recently read, which is full of highlights, and ask me to type up everything he has highlighted. He’ll then use that material for Freedom Fighters or sermons. It’s a tedious process, but I really enjoy it because it’s like getting the “Cliff’s Notes” version rather than reading a whole book.
Here is one that hit me: “Sin’s power needs more than an ‘I’m sorry’ to be defeated. It often needs a plan. I know this sounds awful. It sounds like a lot of work, but growth takes work. Salvation is free, but maturity comes with a price.”
It reminded me of Philippians 2: 12-13: Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
We need to figure out where our weak areas are, and then come up with an action plan. Are there places we need to avoid? People we should not spend time with? Activities that are not good for us?
Genuine sorrow over sin and repentance are essential – but to grow as believers requires that we take action to keep from repeating the same sins.
If you knew that there was a giant pothole on a street on your way to work and traffic always backed up there, but you could go a block over to get around it, wouldn’t you go around the block to avoid it? In the same way, we need to find detours around the areas in our lives that trip us up so that we don’t keep on the same cycle of sinning and being sorry.
I need to really examine the areas in my life where I could make some changes in order to take a step or two forward in my spiritual life.
Mr. Thomas goes on to say, “‘ That’s just the way I am’ is a confession of sloth, not humility. It’s admitting that we are too spiritually lazy to change, to selfishly indifferent to the way our weaknesses and lack of virtue hurt people. Whether we have a bad temper or an overly indulgent lifestyle, we injure others, weaken our virtues, and grieve our Lord.”
May God give me the grace to stop excusing bad habits and call them what God calls them – sin – and then work to change them through His grace.
Written by Ruth Schmidt: Ruth Schmidt has worked at America’s Keswick since 1985. She currently serves as Administrative Assistant to Bill Welte.
Think About This: “Christ has already placed in my storehouse everything that I need.” ―