A friend of mine posted an article on Facebook the other day – it was the picture and caption that first caught my attention – it said, “I quit Christianity when I found out my pastor was banging his secretary and stealing money.” Of course, that intrigued me to read more… it went on to talk about all of the judgmental Christians who had tried to impose “rules” on the author – and very often those who were preaching it were not infallible, and, in fact, had committed some pretty big sins even by non-Christian standards.
It went on to talk about how he then met two individuals who changed his opinion forever – people who weren’t afraid to be real about their struggles and their failures and didn’t pretend to have all of the answers. When he saw their authenticity, he wanted what they had…. not a perfect life, but a relationship with a loving God who loves them 100% where they are and is patient with them as they fail time and time again. My favorite quote in his blog was this: “So why am I a Christian? Because I know I’m a train wreck in a dumpster fire. But I also know that God loves me 100% as is, right now, in the midst of the burning carnage that is my life….. God is cheering for me as I get better and especially when I fall down. Where I see failure, He see’s an opportunity for growth. Where I see addiction, he sees an opportunity to take a step. Where I’ve given up, he whispers, “you can make it'”
One of the things I’ve been wrestling with lately is living up to expectations… in my year of WAIT, I find myself going over and over in my mind the many times I have failed and sinned… and think about the burning carnage that is my life. Sometimes I think about how ill-equipped I am to work with others to show them Jesus when I’ve failed so many times myself, and then I remember that is precisely the reason God send Jesus to us, and I feel like the Christian in this article.
Last week in our youth group we studied the passage in Matthew 18:21-23 – Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘How many time should I forgive my brother or sister who sin against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, “I tell you not seven, but seventy times seven”
His answer wasn’t a literal 490 times, but figurative to mean that we are to continue to forgive those who sin against us just as God continually forgives us who sin against Him. Being a Christian doesn’t make us perfect – not by any stretch of the imagination – it only makes us forgiven. Sure, we try to live a life that is pleasing to Him, but He already knows we are imperfect, and loves us every time we fail.
Every time we fall down, He is there to pick us up, dust us off and say, “let’s try this again”
For me, that is the picture of Christianity I want to follow – i have messed up plenty. His grace is greater. I am forever thankful for a God who has never given up on me… and will never give up on you.
Blessed beyond words,
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