I mess up a lot. I put my foot in my mouth, I say things I shouldn’t say, I idolize friendships and don’t always treat my body as though it’s a temple of the Holy Spirit. Basically, as much I wish this wasn’t true, I’m just as bad as everyone else. My life as a follower of Jesus Christ doesn’t mean I screw up less. It doesn’t mean I automatically stop making mistakes and hurting people – those things make me human, unfortunately, I will be putting my foot in my mouth, hurting people and putting things above God until the day I die. The difference is, I’m not in chains to these screw-ups. The beauty of grace is that I feel sucky for a couple of days, apologize to those who I’ve hurt and realize that I’m forgiven, not because what I’ve done is okay, but because of Christ on the cross. This is not an easy process for me – or anyone for that matter. I kinda wish I was perfect – sometimes. It would make it much easier for me to understand how and why God loves me.
The new thing that baffles me, a lesson God started teaching my heart in about November and will be teaching me for the rest of my earthly life is that God works everything for my good. Not just the good things I do. Not just the times I share the gospel. Not just the times I selflessly love someone. Everything. Even the times I turn away from God, He still uses the results and me for His good. He’s that big. He’s that good. So many times over the past 2 months I’ve been forced to confront my sin and I will for the rest of my life. At some points I’ve been so crippled by the ways I fail God that I can’t breathe… and that is not God’s desire. He chooses to show me my sin out of love, not out of anger. Hebrews 12:7 says, “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons.” I substitute sons with daughters. So when I go through hardships – in the context of this verse Paul is referring mostly to the discipline that comes from being sinners – I should turn back to God and say thank you for loving me enough to show me this. Thank you for wanting me to grow. And then remind myself that “it is God who works in [me] to will and to act according to his good purpose,” (Philipians 2:13). It’s funny because in the times when I have messed up big and asked for forgiveness, I’ve felt the Lord pat me on the head and say, “well done, my good and faithful servant.”
The world wants me to see the ways that I fail to be perfect. My Heavenly Father wants me to see all the ways that He is perfect. I will never be perfect. I can learn and re-learn lessons, but at the core, I’ll always be a broken little sinner in desperate need of a savior. My savior is Jesus Christ, He was perfect both in His humanity and in His godliness. Instead of focusing on my sin and my screw-ups, I will choose to set my eyes on Him and be captivated by His perfect, beauty and humility. As for believing that God loves me in my brokenness – that’s something I chose to believe every moment of every day.