Breaking my promise to myself

Last night we were in Cabela’s in Wheeling, WV.  I had some credit with them through a Cabela’s credit card.  I was looking for discounted running shoes/sneakers, not because I run but because I am on my feet pretty much all day every day and my feet are old and need a decent shoe.  I found a clearance section, but the sizes were limited.  All I could see were boxes with a little non-color picture of the shoe on the end.  I found a box that was my size, and it was marked about 80% off.  I told myself no matter what the shoe looked like I was getting it.  Then I opened the box.  I assume I have already ruined it for you because you saw the picture.  When I opened the box, I knew I would not wear those shoes if Cabela’s gave them to me for free.  One reason is that Diane will not let me buy velcro shoes.  No offense intended to anyone who needs velcro shoes, but I do not need them.  I am sure if and when that day comes, we will laugh and I will buy a pair with her blessing.

As I stood there, I remembered my promise to myself.  “At this price, I will wear these no matter what they look like.”  And I looked at the shoes.  And I remembered my promise.  And I closed the box and put it back on the shelf.  I remember what I heard Matt Chandler say in a sermon one time, “Who has lied to you more than you?”  Now I wish I had bought them for a sermon illustration this coming Sunday.  This week I think I am going to preach a third part of a three week series that I did not know was going to be a series.  The first week was, “Will you entrust yourself to Jesus?”  The second week was, “Can Jesus entrust Himself to You?”  And at this point in the week, this coming Sunday I think I am going to preach about all the times we make the wrong choices, and how He gives us chance after chance each new day.

God already knew the shoe in the box.  He already knew I was not taking those shoes home no matter what I told myself before I opened the box.  He knew that with me, “A promise made is a promise kept” is not always the case.  He knows sometimes I have the best intentions when I give my word (to Him, to others, or to myself), yet for one reason or another, I do not keep it.  And day after day I wake up to a Savior who gives me a fresh dose of mercy and grace.  I should sleep in peace every night because the truth is I also go to sleep with that same mercy and grace from Him.  God can never be disappointed in you or me because He already knew whatever it is that bothers you about you.  He is gracious.  Be gracious to yourself.  Be kind to yourself.  Seize the fresh start He offers every moment of every day through these three words, “Jesus, forgive me”.

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