I recently finished typing up his highlights from “Thirsting for God” by Gary Thomas. And there was highlighting on almost every page, so it took me quite some time. I ended up with 43 pages of quotes! As I was typing, certain statements would really jump out at me and I’d think, “I need to spend some time thinking about that. There’s probably a Victory Call in there.”
So, now that I’ve finished the book, I’m going back and re-reading all those quotes.
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.”
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.