Am I good enough? Just yesterday, I was reflecting on two words--Perfect and Holy. Found in Scripture is the request by God to be Perfect I am Perfect or in another translation, ‘to be Holy as I am Holy. For the Scriptures say, "You must be holy because I am ... ”You shall be holy, for I am holy” ...1 Peter v 16. Then from Lev 19 v2 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.
In both of these references both God and Peter are speaking about following the commandments of God or to obedient to the commandment of ‘Love as I have loved you.’
I was reflecting on these words because of an inner struggle I have been dealing with as I approach ANOTHER birthday. It is tendency of ours to look back as we go forward and wonder ---have I done enough? Have I made a difference, or have I been the servant that God wants me to be? The human in me, the human in all of us tends to be harder on ourselves than anyone else—and when we do, or I do anyhow— I start to feel very inadequate. I am still making mistakes, still being weak and sinful, still not being that perfect person who obeys God’s Laws 100% of the time. I am angry at myself because of the millions of times I say “Yes Lord, I will Lord,” and then over and over again—start again, only to trip up again. In every one of my Journals over the past 45 years ---the same ole struggles, the same ole—plans to change and pray harder—and then—“Why is this déjà vu time and I am once more in the same pattern, the same circling over the airport—but not landing.” Or so it seems.
In reply to my struggle and questions---the answers come—“reflect on MY words of being holy, and just what does that mean.” So, I did. Then, today in the first reading, in confirmation of His message yesterday—I find this--
Reading 1 Col 1:21-23
Brothers and sisters:
You once were alienated and hostile in mind because of evil deeds;
God has now reconciled you
in the fleshly Body of Christ through his death,
to present you holy, without blemish,
and irreproachable before him,
provided that you persevere in the faith,
firmly grounded, stable,
and not shifting from the hope of the Gospel that you heard,
which has been preached to every creature under heaven,
of which I, Paul, am a minister.
I look at this and see---“God has reconciled you, through Jesus, to present you holy, without blemish and irreproachable to Him.” Followed by “provided that you persevere in the faith, firmly grounded, stable, and not shifting from the hope of the Gospel that you heard.”
Once more, God wants to make simple what I tend to overdo and make so hard.
1.) It is God who does the work in us—we are just to keep coming again and again to be the vessel He will use.
2.) Persevere in faith, firmly grounded, stable and not shifting from the hope of the Gospel or messages that He has spoken to us.
To be firmly grounded means to IMMEDIATELY turn from lies, negativity, doubts, and confusion and go in prayer to God, even just a simple prayer—“Lord help me.” We know that we can always count on Him to send us what is needed to resolve any conflict. Always!!! Again I am telling myself “STOP, (as He would too speak it) STOP thinking I have to be perfect!!”
God is the one who makes us holy, and to be holy is entirely different than what we think as perfection. What mankind tries to make perfect is essentially being self righteous or self made. When God does the work, then it is perfection brought about by Him for He knows exactly the perfect plan to accomplish what is His Will in our lives and all those around us that He will bless because of our presence in their world. (Essentially it is His Presence through us as we continue to humble ourselves, and surrender to Him –trusting in His plans.)
I see myself too many times like Peter on Transfiguration Mountain after experiencing a great miracle---“Let us build some tents here.” Immediately in his humanness, he starts to make plans to do what he thinks is good and holy. "Eie, ole- we are so human."
God of course had other plans.
I was led to go back into a journal entry from 1992—same time of year again---facing a birthday, facing the same depression and question—“Am I doing enough, am I good enough, am I following His call?”
God’s reply then is as perfect as it is now for me. “You need not even ask! Yes, you are! Look at Me: I Am love, I Am the Lord of now, the great I Am. Do not equate My love for you with your receiving what you ask for when you ask for it—or how you think you should be receiving it. Therein lies your frustration and despair. I Am not doing your will or working in your ways—I am doing what is My Will for you. Center on my all inclusive love, all immense love for that love will not fail you even though your love falters at times. I love you my child and i always will!”