Thanks for the new thread, Luv! The months go by so fast!
In regard to goals, I have some related to the work here and learning Chinese. However, my favorite jeans are still too tight and I want to shed a little more fat before it is so cold that I will need to add a third pair of pants. You may think this is strange but in China, this is common! The Chinese do not "waste" a lot of money heating buildings!
You used the word "hypocrisy," Luv. I have given a lot of thought to that word for many years. I finally just decided to confess: "Yes, I am a hypocrite!" I have often failed to be the holy person (on the inside) that some may think I am when they look at the outside. I have often failed to live up to His standards. So I confess that I am certainly no better than the "foremost sinner" (Paul) and that I always need His mercy.This means I am struggling and, for Christians, I think if we are not struggling it may mean we have quit trying to walk live by the Spirit.
" 16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. 19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other." (Galatians 5, NIV)
Notice that Paul wrote, "...you do not do what you want." This tells me that if I feel not tension, no sense of struggle (failure, hypocrisy etc.) that (for me) I am failing to grow, failing to choose the difficult path He followed.
If you do not see the sermon on the mount as an impossible dream, you have not really taken it seriously! We will never achieve those standards but if we are reaching for them, pressing forward, He will transform us!
So let us struggle until we die and continue to rely on His marvelous mercy to deliver us.
"14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. 1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 7, 8, NIV)Amen!