“…though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more…” Phil 3:4
I feel like I could say a similar thing as Paul.
And I am not being arrogant, as a matter of fact it is the complete opposite.
I spent years wearing only dresses/skirts (at least knee length), no make up, no jewelry, no cutting/trimming of the hair (it was mid-thigh length as a teen).
I have never taken a class in a public school. I was homeschooled in a strict religious program for the majority of my educational years (except for half of 3rd grade which I spent in a Christian school).
I was challenged to ‘give’ my single years to God, so I committed years 16-20 to focus on some sort of service/ministry instead of pursuing a relationship with a guy.
For almost 3 years I lived/worked in a ministry organization. I worked in the kitchen, library, housecleaning, anything that was assigned to me with little contact with anyone/anything outside of the walls of the organization for no pay. At 18, I took an intensive counseling course that consisted of 8 weeks of 16 hour days of Bible study including: theology, Greek word studies, Jewish manners and customs, prayer, scripture memorization, thousands of pages of journaling, hours of quiet time, fasting…
I spent 18 months living and working in an all girls counseling home in Arkansas with strict personal devotions, journaling, fasting, additional biblical studies, manual labor, intensive scripture memorization.
I have read the King James Version of the Bible completely through from cover to cover more than once.
I have memorized many chapters of the Bibles.
I never dated. I followed a strict courtship prior to my marriage.
I have never had sex with anyone except for my husband, first on the night of our wedding ceremony.
I have never kissed another guy except for my husband, and the first time was on our wedding day.
I have never used birth control (except for 3 months for medical reasons)
I have never been intoxicated.
I have never used any illegal substances.
I can check “yes” for basically EVERY ‘how did you live a godly life’ box.
I have the certificates and diplomas and ribbons and trophies… for real. The accolades are tucked away in a box in the spare room.
There will always be more rules to add, more freedoms to take away, and more standards to apply as you are climbing the moral high ground.
It is possible to do it all right but have it all wrong.
It is possible to have all of the answers and miss the gospel.
It is possible to be so consumed with your own ‘holiness’ or ‘righteousness’ that you can’t follow Jesus.
Ask me how I know.