Do you know that you can fail and still be seen as righteous in the sight of God? Do you know that, as a believer, you can mess up big-time and still be welcome in the Church? Do you know that being a Christian is not about being morally perfect and constantly having al the right answers as you live a life that is properly put together without any cracks?
I have come to learn that understanding God’s grace depends on whether we have been conditioned to run and hide when we sin, like Adam and Eve did, or to run straight to the Father when we sin, like David did. We can either cover ourselves in shame or run to the Lord and say, “Search me, God, and know my heart” (Psalm 139:23).
When David messed up bad, he wrote these words to God.
“Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight…”
(Psalm 51:1-4a NIV)
David understood, on the deepest level, that he could always come to God, no matter how deep or awful his sin. It’s crucial we get this, because we need God in order to please God. We’re like a child needing to borrow money from his dad so they can buy him a present. Our hearts can’t change for God unless they’re changed by God. It’s quite a paradox. The Man you are sinning against is the Man you’re asking for help so you won’t continue to sin against Him.
And He’s patient with us. He’s so patient with us.
But Jesus goes even further to make this point clear in the Gospels. He says that if someone sins against us, we should forgive them not just seven times but seventy times seven. God does even better than.
You know what the difference is between a righteous person and a sinner? One banks on forgiveness found in the cross, and the other doesn’t. Christians are not better than anyone else. We’re just forgiven. We didn’t achieve salvation. We received grace.
So, may I ask, why are we constantly putting on a mask and acting like we’re perfect. Or, at least, acting like we got things together; life is working for us. We’re good? It doesn’t help us, and it definitely won’t help the church reach those who do not know Jesus. People today need real, not fake.
Being something you’re not is exhausting. No one wins. You know the truth. God knows the truth. Your family probably also knows the truth. So, why not just bank on His grace? Rely on Him to be your strength in a time of weakness.
Here is what I have learned over the decades of ministering ….
Be confident in who you are, and comfortable with who you’re not.
As believers, we’ve been freed from trying to keep up with the Joneses. It’s hard enough to keep up with Jesus. Why exhaust ourselves trying to serve two masters?