Monday, December 10, 2007

Relying on grace

Vicki Gaines writes about the futility of Christians trying to live righteously by our own strength:
It took me a long time to realize that perfectionism counts as rubbish in God's economy. I can't live the Christian life out of my flesh. People-pleasing, striving, and following religious rules to impress others is not genuine spiritual fruit, either. The striving wore me out. The young woman that others saw in me might have appeared efficient, good-natured, giving, faithful, and God-honoring, but on the inside I was angry, resentful, and tired of trying to measure up.
Vicki also made her way through the seductiveness of the recovery culture:
Sharing the secret of an abusive past connected me to other survivors. It also caused me to feel special in an unhealthy way. I built an interior kingdom around everything abuse-related and rode the recovery bandwagon for all its worth. Never would I have denied God, but neither did I trust Him. I grew increasingly distant from the Lord and very close to my therapist. I quoted her but never questioned her half-baked theology. When she said the Bible didn't really help folks in my situation, that's what I believed. After all, she was a professing Christian with all these impressive counseling degrees.

I read compulsively about my diagnoses (major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress name it, I had it) and my new-found identity (abuse survivor) rather than go to the Lord for healing. Truth is, I just didn't know Him very well back then. Educating myself seemed the road to freedom but kept me self-focused. Knowing about Christ certainly wasn't enough to sustain me because I wasn't abiding in Him.
What finally made the difference in Vicki's life? Please read the whole essay to find out.


Post a Comment

<< Home