Ask my kids. I’ve told them from the beginning, don’t put your faith in me. I’m human, I screw up all the time. Who can you trust? And they’ll say, God, with an exasperated sigh from hearing it so much. But, at some point, in their lives, they are going to understand how true this is and how much it means.
I have spent most of my adult Christian life, trying to be someone I am not, someone who does not exist, someone the church culture would accept. I refuse to do this any longer. It doesn’t matter who you are, if you’re reading this, I’ve probably tried to please you.
The more I live with God and believe His word to love Him and love people, I know that I am HIS and He is MINE. I know that nothing I can do will erase this promise. I am secure in our relationship and I trust He knows me better than anyone else ever could. He knows how I need time to see, see me through His eyes, see the path I’m on. He is infinitely patient with me.
He blesses me and yet I screw up all the time. I’ve said this once, but it bears repeating. I’m sinning everyday. If I’m not speeding, I’m yelling at my kids. If I’m not yelling at my kids, I’m judging someone on their looks, envying someone’s job, or coveting their relationship with their husband. Seriously. A person could go crazy trying to be perfect. According to Jesus’ own words, I’m an adultress, who shouldn’t remarry. I feel like the disciples, if it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God, WHO THEN can be saved? Jesus used this kind of hyperbole all the time. I love His absolute desire to make us dig deeper, to think, to wrestle. He doesn’t say, you need to think for yourself. He MAKES me think for myself.
Is there better advice on how to live? Is it better not to speed? To yell at my kids? Of course! But a person could go crazy trying to follow the law (Pharisees, anyone?).
Instead, I focus on “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control. For against such things, there is no law.” There is no law. There is no condemnation coming from God. For all Paul’s “perfecting” instructions on how to live a “good” Christian life, he really nailed it when he said, “everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial.” Who will help me live above the law? Not you. No offense, but as much as I love you and I take your advice into consideration, I am guided by the Holy Spirit inside me. I have to live out my choices, not you and vice versa.
This IS the good news of Jesus, that I am not left alone, to struggle through all this life, the Bible, how to be, who to be, how to live, how to parent, what to do, what job to take, what path to pursue, etc. etc. etc., but accompanied, guided, comforted by the very best lover of my soul, who knows I’m a screw up and YET loved me first. This is grace and grace is the absolute opposite of the way the world operates. Grace is what separates and allows love to cover a multitude of sin.
I’m not a good, Christian girl. I’m a beautiful child of a good God, saved AND sanctified by grace in Christ with all the mystery of a million universes.