I completely suck at being a Christian. This becomes more evident to me every day. I suck. I know I suck. Yet, while I was sucky, Christ died for me.
In the last couple months, I have been assailed by messages (many sent by otherwise sensible friends or family), most of which essentially say “If you love God, you’ll….”
– vote for gun control or the 2nd amendment
– like this picture or you’ll go to hell (or mom will die)
– vote all the &$%’s out of office
– condemn homosexuals
– welcome homosexuals
– save the institution of marriage
– support this or that cause
– “forward this email on to at least 10 people (don’t break the chain!)”
And unfortunately, every one of the messages I’ve received at least imply that if I don’t, I’ll be a failure as a Christian.
Well, duh. Too late for that one! Been there, done that. Still there every day.
Despite my pursuit of a more Godly life, I still do not wake up in the morning with “Hosanna!” on my lips. And no, it’s not just because I’m “not a morning person.”
Please do not misunderstand me – there is no pride in my sin. I am not proud of my failings – in fact, were it not for the words of Paul, I’m afraid I would have already marinated in self-horror and self-loathing.
Paul writes: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.” (Romans 3:10, NIV) Basically we all suck. That makes me feel better. Kinda. Sorta.
So, what is the heart of the Gospel? How do I not loathe myself everyday? I’ve given many answers over the years, but the simplest one is the one I’d give today: I try to live my life as a Christian, but overall, I suck. But I believe in Jesus Christ, and confessing my suckiness (sin), and striving to be better (even when I know I will fail) and I am still promised eternal life.
And though there is not always a list of evidence of God working, here is a list of things I believe are the face of Christ in my everyday life:
The Gospel is:
- My 6 yr old daughter asking her friend to come to church when he’s never been inside a church before.
- Having a beer with a good friend, family member, or co-worker just because they need someone to be there.
- Rejoicing in my mom’s health.
- Coming home and finding my dishwasher has been replaced by my bro-in-laws and they paid for the new one.
- Seeing my grandparents still married and deeply in love after all these years.
- Having a veteran teacher assistant (been there 23 yrs) write me a note on the first day of my new job and let me know if I need anything she is there for me.
- Watching an adult show with my 12 yr old daughter and being able to talk (even the talks I don’t like) about it honestly with her and what our morals as a family are (last night the words “what is an erection?” came up).
- Strongly disagreeing with a friend about an issue but still keeping voices at an even keel and actually discussing the issue without becoming upset.
- My husband being clean for over 9 years now.
- My dancing days are behind me for over 8 years now.
- Being in community with other believers who share the same values and faith and having honest conversations, even when they are hard.
- Watching a 3rd grade child respond to my teaching and correcting after having been kicked out of several schools and a rehab center.
- My 6 yr old wanting a prayer journal as her biggest present for Christmas.
- Many of my friends who have overcome mountains with their adopted children.
- Watching my oldest want to go to church and be involved with youth group (though it may be superficial now, she is maturing more each day).
- Having a bill paid for me that I didn’t know how I would pay.
- Still being so in love with my husband after 15 years and still having things to talk about (we’re besties!).
Even when I think God is silent and I suck the most, what a gracious God I have! He is working and sometimes it takes me all year to reflect on His goodness. I could write all day about my suckiness. But you get the point. It is not about my failings, but about His Awesomeness!