This post by John Piper challenged me this morning. Here’s an excerpt:
“This morning I began to pray, and felt unworthy to be talking to the Creator of the universe. It was a vague sense of unworthiness. So I told him so. Now what?
Nothing changed until I began to get specific about my sins. Crummy feelings can be useful if they lead to conviction for sins. Vague feelings of being a bad person are not very helpful. The fog of unworthiness needs to take shape into clear dark pillars of disobedience. Then you can point to them and repent and ask for forgiveness and take aim to blow them up.
So I began to call to mind the commands I frequently break. These are the ones that came to mind.
- Love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Not 95%, 100%. (Matthew 22:37)
- Love your neighbor as you love yourself. Be as eager for things to go well for him as you are for things to go well for you. (Matthew 22:39)
- Do all things without grumbling. No grumbling—inside or outside. (Philippians 2:14)
- Cast all your anxieties on him—so you are not being weighed down by it anymore. (1 Peter 5:7)
- Only say things that give grace to others—especially those closest to you. (Ephesians 4:29)
- Redeem the time. Don’t fritter or dawdle. (Ephesians 5:16)
- Set your mind on things that are above. Connect all your thoughts to Christ. (Colossians 3:2)
- Do not return evil for evil—like when your wife or daughter says something you don’t like. (1 Thessalonians 5:15)
- Rejoice always, and again I say rejoice. Always. If sorrowful, keep rejoicing. (Philippians 4:4; 2 Corinthians 6:10)
- Give thanks in all circumstances. All. All. All. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
So much for any pretensions to great holiness! I’m undone.”