Day 13: At Your Worst
Every sport, talent, ability, gifting, etc. has its shining moments, but they each have their ugly moments too. It feels awesome to be presented on stage in a bodybuilding competition with spray tan, makeup and hair done and all the water weight gone from the body. However, that moment on stage is only as good as all the ugly, grueling, sweat-filled moments that make the great moment possible. I had many ugly moments while I trained for my bodybuilding competition. I cried, complained, panicked and even felt tempted to give up. Training for anything is hard, especially when all energy is consumed with making sacrifices and staying diligent. But I would have never achieved my best on stage if I hadn’t gone through my worst at home and in the gym.
When we find ourselves at our worst, we must remember that it will not last long. Every worst has its complimentary best, and God knows that we will get there eventually. We want to be perfect and presentable all the time, but that just isn’t possible. There will always be a struggle that is propelling us forward. People who never flounder are people who are good at covering up the ugliness. However, to admit a struggle is to admit that we are learning, stretching and growing.
God is huge on giving mercy. He knows that the human condition is flawed, and we will all struggle to achieve our best in Him. Becoming like Christ is no easy feat, and we will have many ugly moments along the way. There will be times of weakness that will embarrass us later down the road, but we must not be ashamed of our struggle. Instead of carrying guilt, we can extend mercy to ourselves. Same goes with other people. The closer we are to others, the more ugly moments we will see. But instead of judging and criticizing, we can offer mercy and encouragement. Usually, the person will get back up and continue running the course, knowing that there is a shining victory just ahead. Instead of getting stuck in the bad moments, we can relish the great ones at the end of every struggle.
“God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (Matthew 5.7 NLT).
God, I want to be merciful on myself. I don’t want to get caught up in my weakness and mistakes that I miss out on the amazing moments of triumph along the way. I know that I will never be perfect, and I will struggle with the great things You have prepared for me. I will not back down from the fight just because some of the moments are ugly. I won’t be embarrassed or ashamed; instead, I will gracefully give and receive mercy. Also, teach me to not judge or criticize people who are going through difficulty. I know that they are achieving great things even if it looks like they’re failing at the moment. Help me to encourage those around me and to be a voice of motivation when they are down. I pray this in Jesus’ name amen.
- What is an ugly moment that you’ve experience in your life?
- How have you struggled to achieve something great?
- Do you let people see you at your worst or do you try to show perfection?
Give mercy and receive mercy!