I used to think that people who spoke about their sin were missing the point of grace and freedom in Christ. I used to say to myself, “They need to get over that – they’re wasting their time grieving while they should be worshipping”. But maybe grieving over sin is worshipping. And maybe I thought that way because I hadn’t ever tasted the bitter death of my own sin. My shortcomings and failures and blatant acts of rebellion were just something that I asked Jesus for forgiveness for, blocked out, and then moved on from. I never truly sat in my mess and let myself look at my sin-stained heart. Did I have lust? I would ask God to cleanse my mind. Did I have unrighteous anger? I would ask God to calm me. Did I speak dishonestly or too soon? Were my words filled with venom as I hurt those around me? I asked God to change my behavior. Did I deliberately disobey my parents? I would ask God to help me do better.
My pleas with my Maker were empty. I asked Him to change my sin-wrecked behavior the moment I felt I was doing something wrong. But that’s it. I would ask for forgiveness, ask for help, and move on before I ever let myself look deeply into my heart of sin.
I viewed sin as a threat against my reputation, not as a deep wound to the Father’s heart. And as my eyes gazed inward, sin seemed harmful, but easy enough to overcome.
And when the view is on yourself, sin can never be shared. What if they find me out? What if they look at me differently because of the awful sins I have committed? Paranoid and self-consumed, vulnerability feels like death. We avoid it at all costs, we fear it, and in the midst of it all, we forget that everyone sins.
But when my eyes are on my Maker, I see sin differently. I see it as it is – ugly and appalling and altogether hurtful. I see that I have failed miserably, and that I am so in need of Him. And I see grace. Because when you taste that bitter death of your own sin, you can taste His goodness and His grace that much more intensely. And when you give up on trying to keep your façade of an altogether-life, the Lord gets more glory. And when you share what He has brought you through, and the things that you’re still battling, others get to see Him too.
But when you pretend like you have it altogether, you shove Christ off His rightful pedestal, and you struggle to maintain it. You get pride catalytic glory from people who admire your fake righteousness, and you send the message to those who are struggling that they should probably live close to perfection if they know Jesus.
That’s not my Jesus. My Jesus came to heal the sick, and I am one of them. All glory be to Him! For I am a sinner. But I have been saved by grace alone, and this has nothing to do with me.