“People who think us weak will offer us an excuse.
People who respect us will offer us a challenge”. Eric Greitens
This is one of my favourite quotes. In the framework of transitions, Greitens’ statement highlights a poignant truth. Our perception of ourselves in the sight of God should tolerate no excuses. Why? Because excuses weaken us. It’s always our choice to take up the challenge to keep moving ourselves forward. Paul allowed himself no excuses for not stretching forward in his relationship with the Lord.
Allow me to give you Paul’s directive to “forget what lies behind us” (Phil 3:13) clarity from the Greek. “Forget” means to “Neglect”. That doesn’t mean we erase our past but that we minimize it! How? By neglecting to rehearse the memories of what lies behind us. Why? So we can maximize what moves us forward. Neglecting to think about what lies behind us is an act of strategic and daily discipline. Recognize what pulls you backward.
Based on the opening quote by Eric Greitens, the opposite of not respecting ourselves is to think ourselves weak. Inferiority disrespects us! Seeing ourselves as “weak” always brings out the excuses. Respecting how God sees us reframes how we see ourselves.
Paul concludes his writing on this subject in Philippians 3:13-14 in the Passion Bible Translation as follows:
“I don’t depend on my own strength … I do have one compelling focus: I forget all of the past as I fasten my heart to the future instead. I run straight for the divine invitation of reaching the heavenly goal and gaining the victory-prize through the anointing of Jesus”
Staying focused on our weaknesses keeps us from God’s intended purposes. Whenever we fasten our thinking to the lesser picture of God’s vision of us, our weaknesses give way to excuses. We think ourselves “only human”. The reality of who we are must be anchored in the way God sees us.
Our spiritual toughness must rise to the level of God’s unfinished work in us. Maintaining spiritual toughness always brings a challenge. Challenges are best met by reaffirming the fact that we’re the work of a master builder! Romans 5:1 challenges us to be imitators of God as dearly loved children. As such we come boldly to the throne of grace asking for help! Why? Because our spiritual toughness needs an upgrade. Transitions build spiritual toughness in us. But remember: We choose how we go through transitions.
Are there challenge you need to face up to? Are there missteps you need to refuse replaying in your mind? Do you respect the purposes of God enough, to challenge yourself to move forward in your relationship with Him?
TODAY’S TAKEAWAY: Respect the version of yourself for whom Jesus died. Offer yourself the challenge needed to run full steam toward the victory God holds ready. Challenge up! Excuse not! Let’s do this thing.