Throughout the process of setting up and establishing this blog, I gave a lot of thought to the kind of content I wanted to post. It’s taken a pretty different direction from what I first intended, but that’s ok. I really want this blog to focus on living my life, but always incorporating my faith. However, in the midst of organizing my brain and my thoughts, I’ve realized that I’m a pretty messed up person.
I remember my youth pastor was giving a lesson back when I was in high school. I don’t remember what the lesson was about, but one point stuck out to me. “Let’s face it, we’re all pretty messed up people, aren’t we?” he said.
Well, my first reaction was, “mmm… No, I’m not that messed up.” Everyone probably thought so too. Even today I don’t drink or swear. I’ve never gotten into drugs, and I’m pretty nice to people. I have good friends and I respect my parents. It was hard for me to see in what way I was “messed up”.
Right now, I am at a point in my life where I am more confident, happy, and closer to God than ever before. And right now, I am more aware than ever of just how messed up I am.
In this day in age, Christians have a pretty clear view of what a “good person” is like. You can see it: they dress modestly, they smile a lot, they are involved in the church, they read their Bible every day, they are pursuing a future, they date other Christians and have Christian friends. All these things tend to gain some brownie-points within the Christian community. When someone doesn’t conform to these types of characteristics, they are sure to turn a few eyes here and there. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
Sometimes it seems like Christians are scared they will catch sinner-cooties or something. Ya feel?
But guess what? We’re all sinners.
And yet, I’ve talked to so many people who feel uncomfortable simply stepping foot inside a church because they know they don’t fit the “typical mold” of a “good person.”
It breaks my heart when I encounter people who feel unaccepted, or even remorseful of the Christian community. As Christians, we are called to minister to all people. The fact that we get caught up in being a “good person” is truly messed up.
Jesus was notorious for associating with sinners, and even He got a lot of heat from the churches of His day. Take a look at this passage from Luke.
“After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. ‘Follow me,’ Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him. Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, ‘Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?’ Jesus answered them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.'” -Luke 5:27-32
If this happened today, a sinner like Levi would be equivalent to a drug dealer, a murderer, or the Kardashians. That’s how radical Jesus’s actions were. If we are to be Christ-like, then we too must extend grace to our fellow sinners.
I don’t even realize it sometimes, but I try pretty hard to be a “good person.” I try to be nice to people, but I realize that sometimes I’m nice simply because that’s what I’m supposed to do, not because I really care about them. I’ve realized that sometimes my “acts of kindness” are really “acts of selfishness” because I do them for my image rather than to make other people feel welcome.
How about worry? I am willing to bet that you and I both spend a lot more time worrying about things than we should. It messes with our heads. However, there is an all-powerful God that is watching out for us throughout it all, and yet we still devote so much energy to worrying about worldly things. (Here are some helpful verses to help combat worry.)
Oooh! How about this? Have you ever wanted to fix someone or something? I have. Touching people’s hearts is not an easy thing to do, and for some reason we think we’re qualified to do such a thing. I have definitely wished I could change some people just by telling them what they’re doing wrong. Once again, there is an all-powerful God that cares about every one of us, why would we try to take matters into our own hands?
See? Messed up.
All these things are simply human nature. It’s just that human nature has majorly tripped us up. That’s why we need God so much- we can’t even trust ourselves. We are not messed up because we are Christians, we are messed up because we are human.
However, the greatest mistake we can make in this case is believing that we aren’t messed up. Assuming that because we are Christians we have some sort of authority in our own lives (or anyone else’s life) is a surefire way of doing some real damage.
Now, these are just some observations that I have discovered in my own life, but I realize that everyone has their own “messed up” lives, with different versions of how we fall short as Christians. Still, we are united because we all desperately need Jesus. Just remember:
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” -Romans 3:23-24