In light of the temptations that each day brings for the Christian life I would say there is great reward for the endurance that brings the believer through them. When we stumble and fail to consider the righteousness that is the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus, we bring doubt and disbelief to our testimony. The question is not whether or not someone believes we are followers of Jesus because of the evidence that contradicts our confession in the sin they witness us struggling against, but whether they measure that accusation or assumption based upon the whole of the fruit that is demonstrated over the time of a believers confession. Each moment that I ponder the shortcomings and temptations I give in to, the chastisement and grief that follows reminds me of just how much I am not sacrificing for Him. It magnifies the comforts that I justify having and belittles the desire to give more, serve more, and work more...More for His glory and honor.
The grace of Christ has taught me this and so much more. I pray that this becomes more evident in the things I fall short in, as well as the things that I succeed in. Maybe, just maybe, where I stumble is where another believer prevails, and instead of shattering and condemning me for that sin, the right thing would be to lift up and bear each others burdens.
Listen to this compilation that has reminded me of this. It contains excerpts from John Piper's sermon at T4G 2008 "How the Supremacy of Christ Creates Radical Christian Sacrifice." This by far has been one of the most powerful sermons I have heard this year and hope that the compilation does it justice. I would encourage you to listen to the entire sermon as well. If you would like a copy of the compilation, please download it here and distribute it freely. The text the idea centers around is Hebrews 13:13.