I’ve only recently become more comfortable with the sinful side of myself. Like the self-centered, jealous, cranky, cynical side. I normally prefer to act like it’s not even there. In some ways, this has been highly effective for me. I’m able to dig deep and be cordial with people who have disappointed me, and I can perform well at my job even when I’m in a bad mood. More importantly, I can look and act perfect, as long as no one gets too close.
Pride has led me to this disconnection from that side of myself. It’s like I’m running away from it, hoping it will leave me alone if I leave it alone. This has given me a false sense of perfection, or at least a striving to be perfect as if it could be attained. It shows in the way that I apologize. I either try to apologize in 30 seconds or less to diminish the significance of how I hurt my friend, or become a sobbing mess because I am so unfamiliar and ashamed of my own shortcomings that it becomes too much for me.
But when I turn around and look this sinful side of myself in the eye, and acknowledge that it is so ugly, but also a huge part of me, I can’t help but also look Jesus in the eye and say thanks. I see what you did there. Receiving grace is humbling. By accepting that sin is in me, I also know my place. Jesus is Lord. I am human. Jesus is perfect. I am imperfect. He is holy. He was the one who could make me holy.
Ephesians 1:19 says that there is “a great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead.” This means that every time I mess up, the strength that resurrected Jesus is also resurrecting me. There’s a redemptive power that is happening all the time as I make mistakes that gives me new life. I don’t have to run away from my sins or act like they aren’t there, nor should I act like they aren’t there in other people also, even Carrie Underwood.
So I’ve come up with this phrase that I say in my head every time that I feel shame: “You’re still in the game.” This is definitely due to playing sports for 15 years, but has proved to be very useful. In a way, Jesus is like our coach who keeps us in the game even after we have given up on ourselves. Feel free to take risks, create things, and be yourself. You are redeemed.
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