Sunday, November 2, 2014

Standing with Confidence

Today in Sunday School, my teacher asked, "how many of you could stand with true confidence before God?"
We all just sorta sat there, none of us knowing how to answer. All of us were afraid to say, "ooooh!! ME!! Me, I definitely could!"
How could any of us truly feel that way?!

Well, after thinking about it for a second, you know what I think?

I think Christ is more understanding than we could ever imagine. He knows our doubts. He knows our insecurities. He understands how hard life is because He has felt everything we have. He knows pain. He knows fear.

He knows you individually. He knows of your sins. He knows of your sorrow. But most importantly, Christ knows your heart, and He loves you.

He loves you because you try. He loves you because you love Him. Actually, even if you don't try, even if you don't love Him, He loves you anyways. He loves you because you are you. He doesn't need any other reason to love you than that. You can never escape Christ's love. Ever.

How cool is that!?

So many of us feel weighed down by sin.
We feel like we aren't committed enough or we feel that we don't accept Christ enough. We feel like we don't have the Spirit enough, like we don't help enough, like we don't pray enough, or like we don't repent enough.
Or maybe you do repent enough. But maybe you still constantly feel worthless and guilty. You are constantly praying for forgiveness, and yet you aren't willing to accept it when Christ offers it to you.

I feel that sometimes. I feel and do all of these things all the time.

But I shouldn't! And you shouldn't either!

My friends, Christ loves you for you. I love the above video because the woman came to Him a sinner. She came to Him in her imperfections. She came to Him feeling guilty and unworthy. She looked at the ground when He spoke to her, and I'm sure she didn't feel confident.
But what happened? Did Christ yell at her? Denounce her in her wickedness? Did she spontaneously burst into flames? No! "Neither do I condemn thee," He said, "go and sin no more."

Don't let sin weigh you down. Christ performed the Atonement so that you could overcome sin. So let Christ's grace into your life! Utilize the Atonement and accept the love and forgiveness always available to you.
I am not saying that it is okay to sin. Living a righteous life shows Christ that you honor Him and are respectful of Him and want to draw close to Him. The less you sin, the happier you will be, and certainly the more confident you will be.

What I'm trying to say is, you will never be perfect. Don't let minor imperfections make you feel worthless and thoroughly unconfident.
Christ loves you for trying. He loves you even if you sin. So make a choice to start feeling confident and proud of your efforts.
Never stop trying to be better, but also don't spend your entire life thinking, "hopefully when I'm 80 I'll get it. I'll be perfect then." Friends, you will feel the same way at eighty as you do now. Learn to love yourself and be proud of your efforts now. 

So could I stand before the Lord in confidence? I think so. Not because I'm perfect, but because I know that He is. I would stand before Him imperfect. I would stand before Him a sinner. But I would stand before Him in love and submission.
I know that He loves me for me and He loves me because I try and I strive hard to be the person He would want me to be.

So I'll keep pressing forward. I'll keep begging for forgiveness. I'll keep trying to be better.
And I'm going to be happy with that. I'm going to choose to live with trust, with gratitude, and with confidence.

Love, Haley


Mom Karen said...

This was one of my FAVORITE talks from conference!! I have listened to it more than 6 times since conference. And you are SPOT-ON. We CAN stand before Christ with absolute confidence that He is who He SAYS He is...and that by Him and through Him, we CAN be perfected in Him. I love you, Haley!

Haley Barton said...

Do you mean Elder Klebingat's talk? Natalie mentioned that in her lesson, I will have to go read it again! Thanks so much for your comment and kind words!

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