It’s a Process: Part 1

“The only way to develop a lesser passion for sin is to develop a greater passion for holiness.”

Duck #27 goes out to the past few days that I spent in Panama City Beach, Florida. (Yes, it was beautiful. Yes, I am darker. Yes, I wore sunscreen. No, I didn’t wear enough. So yes, I have a cute little sunglasses tan. :P)
To describe all that I experienced in one blog post would be too much, so I’ve decided to break it up. I was in PCB for this thing called Summer Conference (SuCo) with my college campus ministry, Reformed University Fellowship (RUF). I’d had the opportunity to go to SuCo for the past 2 summers, but didn’t seize that opportunity until this year–and whoa buddy am I glad that I finally did! 

Now, I know what some of you may be thinking. Oh, it’s just another “yay-I’m-on-that-Jesus-rocks-summer-camp-the-world-is-great” high that people so often experience after weekend or week long getaway. To some extent, you’re right. But to some extent, you’re wrong. For those of you that claim to be Christians, you can empathize with the “camp high” category that I suppose I can jump into right now. You know how it goes: up and then down. If you can empathize even more, you may find yourself trying to ride out the “up” for as long as you can before the “down” takes you quicker than you’d like.  You may just sit in the “down” until something comes along to bring you “up” again (the next church event, the next great conversation with friends, the next “awesome quiet time” you have, etc).

NO.

Y’all. We’re missing something. 

The Christian life is full of ups and downs. But that’s not all of its fullness. In order to go up, what has to happen? An ascent. And in order to go down, what has to happen? A descent. And while each is happening, so is life. Life doesn’t stop while we come down from our “highs,” nor does it stop while we rise up from our “lows.” And in addition, do you know what else doesn’t stop during that time? 

*cue dozens of sunday school hands being raised*
“Yes, Johnny?” Says the sunday school teacher
“JESUS!” replies Johnny with all the pride his 6 year old body can muster.
“Exactly,” affirms the teacher. “Jesus is right.”

That’s it though, y’all.
Jesus, in all of his abundant mercy and grace and love and forgiveness and patience, doesn’t stop.
He is forever constant.

So, why did I preface with all of that? Because it’s a good reminder for me. And because a lot of what I learned this week was more personal than I expected. Beyond the general consensus of learning with which everyone can identify, there were certain happenstances that shook me to my core this week. They weren’t outrageously obnoxious, nor were they ornately ostentatious. Indeed, they were persistent and calm. Like a chilling whisper sending goose bumps all over my heart.
With the courage of my Savior, that’s what I want to talk about over my next few blog posts.

I opened this post with a quote. “The only way to develop a lesser passion for sin is to develop a greater passion for holiness.” 
God, in all of His beautiful irony and perfect timing, allowed me to hear this quote the day before I left for SuCo2014. And again, He allowed me to read it the day after I got back.
And then I realized, that’s it.
In order to not desperately want approval from man, I need to desperately want to be more like Jesus.

“Approval from man.” Yeah. That’s the big one. The approval that I so desperately seek can cripple me in bed with too many shame filled tears, yet also give me a false sense of security and belonging, making me feel like I’m on top of the world. But the approval I seek from man (friends, family, people) is just as broken and flawed as my desire for that approval. I seek affirmation from futility. 

WHY? Well, there’s 2 main reasons that I’ve recently learned.
1) I often don’t know how to look at the greatness of my sin.
2) I often don’t know how to look at the greatness of my Savior.

To be continued…

[Jesus, You are too good and too loving. Thank You. May I remember how broken I am, but also remember how beautiful I am at the foot of the cross.]
❤ Amen

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