Article - Inward Spiritual Struggles—Good or Bad?
Do you ever feel like you need to do more for the cause of Christ? Does the feeling that you just aren’t everything you need to be ever trouble you? Maybe these feelings are something you struggle with every day. I have a friend who constantly struggles with this problem. He would often get discouraged by the feeling of imperfection and deeply distressed over the fact that he just didn’t feel like he was doing enough in the kingdom. As I thought about his situation and the inward struggle that each of us face, I wondered “Are these feelings of imperfection a good or bad thing”? The more I thought about this matter the more I realized this truth: It’s not the people who have these struggles and feeling of imperfection that I worry about, it’s the ones that don’t that bother me. I know this is correct, for Paul expressed this to the church in Philippi saying, “not that I have already attained” and “not that I have already perfected” or “I do not count myself as apprehended” (Philippians 3:12-14). In essence, Paul was recognizing the fact that all of us face the inward struggles of imperfection and incompetence. And, if we use those feelings correctly they are not bad. How can these feelings help us?
If these feelings of imperfection motivate us to do more, they have been beneficial to us. In view of his own inward struggles Paul said, “I Press on” (Philippians 3:12). Instead of getting discouraged, Paul used his inward struggle as a motivating factor. As one faces these struggles, maybe a little introspection would be in order. Paul said, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves” (2 Corinthians 13:5). In times like these we should each look for more ways to serve God faithfully and stay busy in the kingdom!
If these feelings of imperfection keep us on our toes, they have been beneficial to us. Maybe these feelings are simply a correct response of a good conscience seeking to help us do more and be more for Christ (1 John 3:20; Romans 2:15). Rather than growing stagnant and becoming lukewarm, they remind us to stay busy and fruitful in the kingdom.
While a person can take these feelings to the extreme and allow them to affect his spiritual life negatively, if used correctly they do have a positive spiritual benefit. Remember, It’s not the people who have these struggles and feeling of imperfection that we should worry about, it’s the ones that don’t that should worry us.
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