Sometimes I worry about looking/ acting like a Christian. What comes into question is something I have said or some way I have messed up.
I was taught to strive for perfection in Christianity.
To be like Jesus is the goal and as far as I know, Jesus is, well…absolute perfection. Kind of an intense standard.
This made me fear messing up. I used to hide my faults and flaws to prove to others I was “like Christ” or a “good christian.”
See guys? I didn’t mess up! It’s because of Jesus! Go follow him! (and if they did, I “saved” someone..sweet! Mark it down in my journal)
Horrible and fake and so exhausting.
Now, of course, there is nothing wrong with striving for righteousness, in fact he commands it. However, striving for perfection so that people can believe in Jesus just won’t work. Have you ever felt at ease around a “perfect” person? Also, this gives us too much power, we have the world on our shoulders and it doesn't belong there.
I think if you hang out with Jesus (which I would highly recommend), he will absolutely draw you near to him and you will learn who he is. He will also NOT smack you upside the head when you mess up. He doesn’t look at you with shame daggers in his eyes and wish that you would leave until you stop messing up.
He gets disappointed, of course. My friends, he does not expect perfection and He knows mess ups are coming, because..well he created us and knows were human.
Maybe this is just to myself but maybe you need to hear it too. God forgives. Not just in a
pat you on the back and better luck next time…but in a His love comes down and invades the earth way. In a casting your sins as far away as possible kind of way. In power.authority and tenderness.
I believe that the devil created shame for us to hide away in and let it eat us up and keep us away. It can absolutely destroy. It robs us from life and leaves us scared, unloved.
Your story, who you are is a redemption story, because guess what? Jesus saves. He met me at my darkest and still does because let me tell you, I still have darkness.
When I became a christian I thought maybe that darkness would go away. That somehow the presence of Jesus in my heart would “poof” all my problems away. No. Not even close.
He just was invited to come into those dark place with me. He reaches into your pit and get you out and reminds you what He thinks about you.
Now, there are consequences for sin (still paying for some of those from my own sin). But even bigger there is GRACE.
We all mess up, thats why we need a savior. Your sin, current past and future does NOT define who you are. He forgives and can carry you home.
Romans 8:1 says: “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.…He sacrificed his son for our sin, we have been made new. It is forgiven.”
I have a million questions about my faith, did Jonah really get swallowed by the whale…really? Even questioning sometimes if God is really even there. It’s a journey, but let me tell you, He will be there with you if you ask Him to be. I don’t know how or when or what it looks like for you. It’s something I believe because it says it in the bible but more because I have seen it and felt it in my own life.
We are set free, friends. We no longer have to walk in shame. He is delighted in who you are, mistakes, sin, and all. In fact, one of the reasons we were created is for his pleasure! He actually enjoys us!
Have a beautiful Thursday, friends.