One of the more difficult tasks in life is to find balance. We are such creatures of extremes, it’s easy to binge on what we like, spend time with only certain people, and justify our many excesses.

Many of us have trouble finding a happy medium between things like Work and Family, Personal time and Public interaction, Fiction and Nonfiction, Saving and Giving, Eating and Exercising, and even Formality and Informality.

One especially knotty problem is coming to terms with the good and bad in ourselves. While we are capable of good deeds and great generosity, we know that we also are capable of gross sin and ghoulish thoughts.

That is, if we admit it. And there’s the rub! The “image of God” part of us has been marred by The Fall so that even the good that we do often is tainted with impure motives and hidden agendas, even before we think of it. Pretty soon we are a little puffed up with self-righteousness without realizing it.

Then, we counter this by obsessing about our motives, worrying over our foibles, and becoming suspect of ourselves. We are overwhelmed with weighing every thought and action and become hopelessly introspective. Our spontaneity is gone and we get impatient with ourselves and even depressed.

The Apostle Paul comes to our aid because here is a murderer and blasphemer who was forgiven, and did not allow his past spoil his present moments. After chronicling his earthly accomplishments, he renounces all of them for Jesus, forgetting the past (Philippians 3:13, 14). But he likewise knows that his sins are, and continue to be, forgiven (1 Timothy 1:15, 16).

Paul stopped judging himself at all, and instead, tried to keep his conscience clear, leaving judgment to God (1 Corinthians 4:3-5). That is possible when we see ourselves for what we are: forgiven sinners who will not be perfect until the Resurrection. One day we will be like Jesus. For now it’s good to remember that we are broken.

“Dear friends, now we are children of God,
and what we will be has not been made known.
But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.”
1 John 3:2

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