Self-awareness is a gift. We need to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (see Philippians 2:12). Our conscience should alert us when we are straying away from God’s heart.
However, we can easily begin striving. When we do, instead of our conscience speaking or the Holy Spirit convicting us, we end up wallowing in condemnation even when we know there is no condemnation in Christ (see Romans 8:1).
Sometimes we set standards for ourselves that are impossible to meet at the level of maturity we’re at. We can rest assured that He who began a good work in us is faithful to complete it (see Philippians 1:6). We need to rest in that reality.
I heard the Lord say:
“I am lifting up a standard in your life. I am the standard. Stop trying to live up to a standard that you could never live up to apart from My Son. Understand that I am the standard. I am Your standard. I love you the way that you are.
“Stop looking around for ways to be better and look to Me because I will make you better. I, Myself, will make you better. Stop looking at all the self-help books and the advice columns and all these 10-point programs you think are going to make you better. Look at My Word. My Word renews your mind.”
Let this prophetic word comfort you as you lean into His grace. God moves you from faith to faith and from strength to strength. You may not be where you want to be, but thank God you aren’t where you used to be. God is with you, and when you read the Word and fellowship with His Spirit, you can trust that He is conforming You into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29).