Monday, May 25, 2015
While I was a Sinner
I really appreciate people who are open... who share something they have struggled with, and offer the scriptures and teachings and circumstances that gave them the victory over their sin for the glory of God.
But I don't feel that I'm very good at sharing those things myself. I don't like sharing struggles that others were included in, because I don't want it to sound like I am complaining about the people involved. But on the flip side, if I feel like I am the only person who sinned in the situation, I have an even harder time opening up, because I know that I can be the only one held accountable.
And I hate to disappoint others. I hate to admit impatience to someone who has just told me they were impressed with how patient I was in that situation When someone tells me that my relationship with my siblings is encouraging to them, I think of how I used to egg Tori into an argument, and how even now, me and a certain sibling can get into a disagreement multiple times a day. I am too proud to admit to people that I'm really not as humble as some seem think.
I share a lot on this blog. I share all the completed projects, all the ministries, all the coffee, all the laughs, and all the things that I've found to be a blessing, that I have time for. I've even -a couple of times- shared a few things that the Lord had convicted me about. But I don't often share how there are days where all I've done all day is browse facebook and pinterest. How far behind I can get in my duties, and how often I "shorten" my bible time because I've wasted time that I could have used in that pursuit.
Sometimes, the things that I share... they are the truth. But they are also only part of the truth.
Last week found me in the kitchen crying, basically telling Daddy that I didn't feel like people knew the real me. I had been struggling for a couple weeks. Not badly, at first, but before I realized it, it was totally consuming my thoughts. I had been finding myself very impatient, and selfish, and distrustful (of others intentions and, worse of some of the things God had put in my life). Mostly in my thoughts, but it was spilling out more and more into my actions. And the more I realized these sins, the more it made me feel guilty to hear others saying that I had done such and such good. But I still couldn't bring myself to humbly admit that I am still simply a human sinner, though a human sinner covered by grace I may be.
Because that is what everyone of us is. "“None is righteous, no, not one". Ever since Eve ate the fruit of the tree of good and evil, we have all been born with a natural bend for sin. (Romans 5:12) It's what's easy. It's what seems fun to our flesh. It effects everything around us.
God sent His Son to die on the cross for us. Because of his gift of righteousness -taking our sin on him and giving us, in its place, HIS righteousness- because of that double imputation, we don't have to be known by our sin. "He was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed." Christ shines through us. We are to live in the world. And that means that everything we do will be stained by sin. Even our best works are as dirty rags.
Once he has called us his own, our sin is not what defines us. Oh, it's still there. Even Paul admitted, "Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me". We are no longer of this world, and to the praise and glory of God, once Christ fills us with His light, He is our identity. Not our past sins. Not even our current sins. But His grace.
This doesn't mean that we go on sinning because he paid for all. Out of our thankfulness to and love for Christ, we are to, with his merciful help, live in the way he has called us. But not to earn our salvation. We can never do enough to earn salvation, because only one "small" sin is all it takes to outweigh all good. Martin Luther, the "Father of the Reformation", was led to believe that he had to earn his salvation, and he used to literally "beat his body into submission" with whips and chains to pay for his sins. It was not until God showed him that faith is a gift by grace, not works, that he understood that no amount of sorrow or pain would pay for his sins, but only acceptance of the sacrifice of God. "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast."
But that sorrow over sin IS there for a reason. After I shared with my parents my struggle with all the sin I was seeing in my life, and how it was weighing me down so severely, Mama pulled up this sermon by Voddie Baucham to listen to. And he makes soooo many good points. But my favorite may have been that, if we could not recognize, remember, feel remorse for, and abhor our sin... how could we truly understand what God has saved us from? 'I am not what I should be... but, thank God, I know I am not what I was.'
I'm not perfect. I don't want to even pretend that I am. I can't promise I will find it any easier to share my short fallings on this blog. But I want to remind each of you that any good you see -any encouragement you get- any way my writings are used- is simply God working through a sinful human, whom he has redeemed for no other purpose than that it magnifies his glory. That while I am yet a sinner, he loves me.