Remember, Self, that as this compulsion to do first and then second and again last is dwindling that you are still susceptible to falling right back into that old pattern. In fact, as you grow increasingly comfortable with this new way of being first and doing second, you are increasingly at risk for tripping over air and falling flat on your face. You have this history of settling into a new habit, only to jump stark naked out of it when the heat arrives.
If that happens again this time, Self (and surely it will, because you do have that ailment of regularly disremembering), don’t be too hard on yourself. Don’t berate or shame or resign yourself to a life of old living just because you failed to do what you knew you should do. Don’t rehearse a list of sins a lifetime long. Don’t hold yourself up against those around you in hopes of feeling less sore on account of how much worse off they are. Don’t sulk or pout or sit in dust and ashes with your eyes fixed on your stupid. And, for the love of all that is right and good, absolutely do not replace your eternal identity with your temporary idiocy.
You are not a mess-up, Self. You are not a mistake. You are not a failure. Not anymore. Yeah, you once were all those things, but not now. Now, you are new. Now, you are His. Now, you are beloved, forgiven, redeemed. You are right with Him forever. Just because you acted a fool doesn’t mean you are a fool, not in God’s Kingdom. God’s Sons and Daughters are always His Sons and Daughters, no matter how stupidly we sometimes act, because He is our security. He is our redemption. He is our propitiation. You’re bound to mess up again, Self, because that’s what happens in this frail middle place where you live between sin-bound dying and eternal, glory-filled freedom, but messing up doesn’t mean you are a mess. It means you have a mess, and Jesus is awfully good at turning messes into something beautiful.
But while the son was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion. He ran, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him.
Luke 15:20, HCSB
Unsure of who you really are? This may help.