I’ve been reading the book of Jeremiah for the past month. The prophet Jeremiah did not have an easy job for the Kingdom – he was asked by God to tell God’s people over and over that God was no longer happy with them; that in fact God wanted to unleash His wrath on these people because of their sinfulness. They worshipped idols and defamed the name of God. And they were unwilling to repent of their sinfulness. Because this is before Jesus’ perfect sacrifice, God’s wrath for the sinfulness of His people has not been satisfied. Reading through Jeremiah and picturing the things God threatens on His people, people that He loves, has forced me to think of my own sin.
Being back in leadership as IU has made me see my sin more clearly. Partnered with reading through Jeremiah, my awareness of my sin has brought me into moments of self-condemnation. I deserve the same things that God threatened on the people of Judah, but because of Jesus I will not have to suffer those consequences. My perfectionist nature, however, doesn’t always live in light of the grace that Jesus died for me to receive. Often after I ask God for forgiveness from prideful thoughts or from being distracted by things that not of Him, I still beat myself up. My head knows I’m forgiven, but my heart struggles. The truth is, God knows I’m going to sin, even if it’s just thoughts, those are sinful and hurt Him, but He loves me so much that He sent Jesus so I would not feel condemned for my sin. God’s wrath has been satisfied in Jesus, it doesn’t make sense, it isn’t fair, but is it the truth. It is what I will choose to cling to. I deserve the punishment that Jeremiah prophesied over God’s people, but I don’t have to. Reality is, Jesus was perfect, I am not. I need to stop beating myself up over that. I pray against self-condemnation in my heart, and I pray that you may experience the fullness of the Gospel not just in your head, but also in your heart.