Thursday, February 11, 2016

Sanctification in the Walmart Line

It's clear from the Scriptures that sinless perfection is impossible in this life. (1 John 1:8-10, 2:1-2) We will battle indwelling sin until we die or Jesus returns, which is why Christians need the gospel just as much as those who have yet to enter the Kingdom of God. But what about mistakes? What about those silly, careless things that crop up now and then?

Life would be easier if I would always get it right. Life would be even easier if everyone else would get it right, too. For example, can you imagine how this would transform shopping at Walmart? What would it be like if there were always enough cashiers? And cashiers who were efficient? What if everyone counted their purchases so no one had too many items in the express lane? Think of how pleasant that experience would be. But I will not always get it right no matter how hard I try and neither will you or the folks at Walmart.

The fall has taken its toll, and no one is exempt. My physical body has failed me at times where I've dropped dishes due to butter fingers. My mind has gotten distracted so I've lost count when measuring an ingredient for a recipe. Although breaking a glass and miscounting cups of flour are not sins in themselves, what has been my response? What attitude comes to the surface when I'm at Walmart with 20 other people waiting for a single cashier when there are six vacant registers?

There have been times when these irritations didn't bother me, praise God, but my responses have not always been sinless. I've been impatient with others and unkind thoughts have flitted across my mind even though I kept my mouth shut. I've been frustrated when I didn't live up to my high expectations of myself. This is sobering especially when I consider what sort of person I may be in 10 or 20 years. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect, and these little instances of pride and impatience can add up to create quite a curmudgeonly woman. But it doesn't have to be this way.

"For this is the will of God, your sanctification." (1 Thes. 4:3) I can rest in this truth and the fact that the Holy Spirit hasn't stopped convicting me of sin and granting me repentance. I do not have to finish the race on my own or in my own strength. And I have hope knowing that He will renew me, turning potential irritations into sanctification lessons. Occasions for impatience and pride can be transformed into opportunities to grow in kindness and humility. Even at the checkout line at Walmart.

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience Col. 3:12


  1. This post and the scripture you quote is speaking directly to the place in my sanctification where I am today. Would you please pray for me? I am overwhelmed and sad and nearly hopeless.