Friday, July 22, 2011

My epic fails as a Christ follower: #7 Not believing God's grace applies to me

Sometimes I feel like I walk around with a big sign on my head that says, "Confess your problems to me."

I don't really mind it. In fact, I've helped so many people begin to find healing and the truth about themselves in God that I kind of feel privileged to have that sign on my head. I'm just surprised every time it happens that yet another person sees this invisible sign.

I've lost count of the number of times that someone has confessed to me about infidelity with their spouse (or at least the deep desire to do it), huge financial issues, drug and alcohol problems, past abortions, times they've lied or cheated, sexual sins of all kinds or even the confession that, "I've been going to church for XX number of years and I still secretly doubt that this Jesus we worship is real."

Usually, each conversation I have with the person about their particular problem involves some mention of God's grace. Jesus dying and resurrecting 2,000 years ago made up for all the sins they have done or will do. If you are a follower in Christ, God's grace is big enough to cover every sin, because all sin is the same. Every sin boils down to either you were obedient to what God wants or you were disobedient. Even though we see telling a lie and murder with different severity, all God sees is obedience or disobedience. God loves us. His mercy is new each day. We are one with Christ, the perfect sacrifice for all. We have been washed clean of our past and we are washed clean over and over again. And I believe that with all my heart...when I'm telling it to another person.

The truth is, when it comes to my own sin, my own past, and my desires to live other than what God wants of me, I know I have God's grace, but I don't believe it. I see a perfect God and I see my imperfect self in infinite detail and I can't believe that the God of the universe, perfect and righteous and holy in every way, would want to reconcile to Himself someone as despicable as me.

When I speak to someone else about their faults, all I see is a beautiful, vulnerable Child of God who through their transgressions know how desperately they need the Lord. When I look at myself, I see a lazy, prideful, lying, socially awkward, lustful, insecure, scared sinner who has struggled with a life long urge to injure herself. Why on earth would God want to reconcile someone like that to Himself? Why on earth would He extend grace to that kind of person?

The only bridge I have found between my head, that knows God's grace applies to me, and my heart, which should believe it, but doesn't is Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." I've got to trust what God says on this one is true. My belief (and your belief) is irrelevant to the truth of God. Instead of welcoming grace like some do, I have to force myself to submit to it. And I'm not going to be completely on the path God wants me to be on until I do submit to it.

So if you are one of the people who I've spoken directly to about grace, trust that I completely believe everything I told you. And if you accepted what God had to say to you through me and have lived basking in the light of Grace ever since, I envy your strength and belief. God's grace is for all of us who cling to Him. Whether we believe it or not.

No comments: