How should being a follower of Jesus transform our life? To kick off this month's conversations about regeneration and transformation, I am talking with Katrina McCain, author of Beyond Being Good: Seeking Christ's Perfection for Our Imperfect Hearts. We discuss how to lean on Jesus' perfection, and not our own. Throughout our conversation, there are practical tips on how being a follower of Jesus naturally overflows and transforms our daily life.
Katrina McCain is a former fashion model with a heart to serve women of all ages while spread the hope and good news of Jesus Christ. Her mission is to break myths about attaining personal perfection by honing in on God's perfect love through Jesus. She is a public speaker, author of Beyond Being Good book, founder of the non profit Pearls of Hope Outreach and director of Fashion Beyond Borders Charity Runway Show in Charlotte, NC. She has earned a Master's in Education through UNC-Charlotte and is a simple southern girl at heart. Katrina hopes you will connect with her at www.KatrinaMcCain.com
Noteworthy Quotes from Katrina:
Deep down in our hearts, we are crying for that perfection. Even Scripture says that nature yearns; it yearns for God, it yearns for us to have the state of perfection that in the beginning God created us to have. But because of sin, we can’t access that outside of Jesus.
Finding our purpose and experiencing God’s love for us goes far beyond our abilities to be good. It’s not about our goodness, it’s about His goodness. And through His goodness, He develops His perfection in us through His perfect love.
Sometimes when we have a victory, we are so alive, but when we are defeated, we can often think that God isn’t there; but He is.
Realize that we are not good.
We are always looking to validate ourselves. Like, “Oh, I’m a good person, or she’s a good person….” But according to Scripture, that’s just not true. So when we can get the grasp of, compared to God’s holiness, I am not good at all.
When we set our pride aside, it opens up the door to us to see God’s goodness; because we don’t have it. Once we can open up the door to the truth of who we are as human beings, that’s how we can open up the door to allow Christ’s saving power to come into our life.
God, I need you. I cannot do this on my own. I cannot find holiness on my own. I cannot find righteousness on my own without you.
That is the first step: inviting Jesus into our lives and knowing that we are not good.
On our best day, all it takes is that one thought that’s just a little sideways; and we all have that. But you know, Jesus is our Great High Priest and He sympathizes with our weaknesses. It is just incredible how vast His love is!
It is so freeing when you admit, I can’t make it all right.
We have to do a motive check often. Am I doing this quiet time because I can say I’m doing quiet time? Or am I really doing quiet time because I really want to hear from and be in the presence of the Lord?
It’s not on my works or my effort, it’s on Jesus. But, again, the more we are seeking Him and seeking after His heart, the more he is going to transform our hearts to look more like His. And what was the heart of Christ? He loved being with the Father. In our serving, our quiet time, when we are encouraging others, in our worship: the motive of our heart has to be, I’m doing this not for show, not for a check-list, not to be a good Christian, but I’m doing this because I genuinely have a love for my Savior. So that’s the heart behind why a Christian does what he or she does. It’s because I want to glorify the Lord, it’s because I love the Lord, it’s because I just want to be with my Savior.
Microwave Christianity: it is not going to be instant. When you get off your knees after your salvation prayer, it is a process that He takes us through. And the whole point of this process is to look more like Jesus.
Are we living our lives really believing this truth?
Living for Jesus means that we want to do things that please Him, that doesn’t mean that we are perfect, that doesn’t mean that we aren’t going to mess up, or that we aren’t going to have sin and temptation in our lives, but those are things that we are not attracted to, nor are they things that we are practicing. So when we find ourselves in situations doing things that we are knowingly practicing that are not pleasing to Jesus, that requires us to have a heart check: Where am I really in my walk with Christ? Am I really serious about the salvation that I am claiming to have? Because if the Holy Spirit is in me, there are things in this world that should be unattractive to me. But if they are attractive to me, or if I find myself excusing them away, or practicing privately- right, you know we endure and experience a lot of that- those sorts of things, could be a detriment to the fruits that God wants to produce in us. We need spiritual things inside to produce spiritual things outside. So when we know that we are tampering with things that are contrary to Jesus and things that are displeasing to the Lord, well we know that that’s sin and sin leads us to death. But Christ has come to bring us abundant life. So as we mature in the Lord, and as we begin to denounce things that are contrary to His heart, we find that we begin to flourish more in the gifts of the Spirit- in love, patient, kindness, peace, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control- all of those fruits that God has set aside for us to produce for His Kingdom and His glory.
The fruits are supposed to be there to glorify God, and not just to glorify God for the sake of saying, “I’m glorifying God.” But for the sake of making a change in our own hearts, and for being that light so that others can see that change that is happening in us, and want it for themselves. But they can’t see that if we are pretending, and they can’t see that if we are compromising. So we have to remember that we are not just living this life for our own selves and for our own comfort, we are living this life for Jesus- ultimately- but also so others can see God’s goodness through us and want that for themselves.
It’s easy to do easy things. So living by the flesh? That’s easy! There is no effort involved. You don’t have to think about it, it just comes so naturally. So when the Spirit comes to work, it gets a little tight… it gets a little uncomfortable. But that’s Him working himself into us and producing us to be a new creation in Christ. All the old things will pass away, and our new character, our new mindset, and our new heart can begin to emerge. We have to give Him permission to do that.
Once we open up our hearts, once we invite Him in, and once we give Him permission to do the cleansing and the transformation that He wants to do, then that’s when we see the difference in ourselves and people will start to see it in us, as well. And the goal is that hopefully we will lead others to God.
Submission is just obedience. You don’t have to feel it to do it. Our culture puts a lot of emphasis on being genuine… anytime we choose to obey Jesus, that is genuine… We don’t obey to feel good, but we obey to please Him.
Submission is: if I know that this is what the Lord is asking of me, through Scripture, through His Word, than I know, this is what I need to do: I can love my enemies (even though it’s so hard).
We’ve got to be really, really careful to what we are exposing our hearts to, because that’s where the Lord lives.
Submission all boils down to: if I love Jesus, then I will obey Jesus. And it can be hard, and it doesn’t mean we are going to do it perfect every time.
We are always in need of that grace. We are always in need of the reminder that the Lord loves me where I am, but at the same time, if I profess to love Jesus, there is a standard that I have to set for myself. Not to make myself look good, but to make sure that my life is reflecting how good God is.
People are more attracted to Jesus when they know our vulnerable, honest, and true story. So we don’t have to be ashamed at our mistakes or our mess-ups, or even our temptations and our sinful struggles. It might sound cliché, but seriously, our struggles are there so we can be an encouragement to someone else. So they can know that they are not exempt from the love of Christ either, no matter what they’ve done. And they won’t be encouraged on that truth if we don’t share it.
We need to just be honest about our own stories. Don’t try to cover it or pretty it up.
You can purchase Katrina’s book, Beyond Being Good: Seeking Christ’s Perfection for our Imperfect Hearts, here. Or, we are giving away one copy on Instagram!
Pearls of Hope Outreach
“Pearls of Hope was founded in June, 2013, as a resource for young women throughout North Carolina to come together in service and support of the communities of which we represent. We are committed to formulating outreach opportunities for our members to pour into the lives of those around us, encouraging each other and representing our faith and friendships in hopes to motivate and mentor other women in our area. As of November, 2015, we are proud to be federally recognized as a religious Nonprofit Organization, under the 501(c)(3)! Anyone who gives towards our organization will receive the benefit of a tax write off, under the federal regulations. We hope to not only lead as an example for women in our community, but to also impact lives, spread love and encourage people, no matter where they are in their lives.”
Pearls of Hope Outreach: Merino School in Honduras
For 5 Years they have sponsored a school in French Harbor, Honduras. Their fundraiser every year, Fashion Beyond Borders, contributes 100% of the proceeds to this school. They are getting a new roof and new plumbing; as they did not have a bathroom in the school. These elementary children were in danger and being preyed upon; this school is their safe haven. To contribute to this cause, you can donate to the school on the Fashion Beyond Borders Website. Katrina says that prayers are also deeply appreciated!
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