Last Sunday I wrote about youthful tongues lashing out at one another and this Momma’s sinful response to ruined peace, dashed confidence, and a crumbling tower of accomplishments. I wrote about how Grace trashed my ample achievements, damaged my self-righteousness, and spoiled my self-indulgence. And Thank God for that!
But I hate the sin within! Sometimes I feel eternally ruined, and will never get over my need of forgiveness.
I hate struggling to like my children. I hate battling my selfish desires. I hate wishing I could run away and hide in a nice, quiet little corner of the world. A cave would be nice. Or better yet, a beach, at sunset, with a hammock…and a bar tender.
But even then, among the cool breeze and crashing waves, I know I’d be lonely. I’d miss the ‘opportunities’ to lean in, and learn hard how to love them like Jesus loves me.
Someone once said that the Christian life is not really living at all, but dying a little death, every day, until we no longer actually live, but Christ lives in us.
And if that’s the case, don’t hand me a garlic lei defense against my foe. I want the silver bullet! I want to slay the vampire within – that self-protecting, people-devouring monster that comes out to play all too frequently.
But even this desperate plea assumes a false reality: that sin is merely a part of me worth destroying. Or even an enemy I’m able to defend against. This just ain’t the case.
Sin is neither a single part of me, nor an evil entity I can dodge and evade. Sin is all of me. It is who I am. And as long as I dwell on this side of heaven, sin will never disappear.
I have to admit, this truth both shocked and encouraged me. Somehow, in my independent pursuit of righteousness, I thought I really could slay this monster. I just needed to get up off my duff, go at ‘er again, and try harder.
But is the true sign of progress in the Christian life finding that I’ve gotten over needing Christ? Or is true progress finding an ever-increasing desire to never get over my need of Him?
If I ran away to my cave or my hammock on the beach, I would miss abundant chances to learn how to be like Jesus – to slay my selfish lust for private peace, to lay down my self-sufficient attitudes, to smash my Mommy-of-the-Year prospects BEFORE they delude my reality. I might never find my death at all, or the life Christ wants to live through me.
Yes, I hate sinning over and over again (especially in public) and feel like I am eternally ruined. But if my continual need of Him keeps me daily in His presence, then I don’t ever want to get over my need of Him.
Might I Pray for Us?
Oh Lord, help me to stop dreaming of solidarity. Help me to embrace these opportunities to sin amongst a crowd, to face the truth of my own heart, and rejoice in the fact that I am eternally ruined. May I never get over my need of You.
Notes of Encouragement
Words of Affirmation:
“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different…”