I am not a good person. I, of course, don’t believe this. Which is why when I get glimpses of my real self I am surprised. My gluttony, my selfishness, my proud and resent-filled mind. My fear. My anger. The true me lets loose and is wildly unabashed in thrashing – tearing apart anything that will get in the way of My Kingdom Come, My Will Be Done. I am no worse than Alice’s Queen of hearts. If I lose my temper, you lose your head. Understood?
And so, I ask forgiveness, as if a big monster has overtaken my body and has run his course. Now I am huddling in the corner, repeating over and over again, “I’m sorry.” I am sorry.
It will take me two days, maybe three, to come back to life again. I will have to sleep it off, work it off, act like nothing is wrong. But I will have a lingering hangover for a few more sunrises. Just don’t tip me over. If I wobble, I will fall down.
This is because of the shock. The shock that I can be so angry – so lacking love – so full of my instant desire over something so little. … the shock that I am so sinful.
I would love for you to tell me that I am a good person. I want everyone around me to wave little flags with my initials on them and chant, “good! good! good!” It’s Satan’s lie. And I want us all to believe it.
|Lim See Min|
This is why I get knocked down when my sin is so blatantly shown to me, when it is so clear I can reach out and touch it.
I have a few things to whisper to that me-girl, the one hiding her face wearing the dunce cap.
Little girl, you still believe that you are earning your salvation. You think that being good most of the time is earning you respect in the eyes of the people around you – and that you are earning the respect of God. It’s not true. He knows you are made of dust. He knows that you will wither and fade. He knows that your only hope for life is the breath he breathes into you.
Little girl, you think that your goodness is good simply because it is good-er than other peoples’ goodness. Well, you are prideful of no good reason. You celebrate your deadness because you are less dead than others? Well, dead is dead. And alive is alive. So, if you are alive in Christ, it is His life that matters – His goodness, His righteousness.
Little girl, you, because of Jesus, are forgiven. Now, I know you – you’re going to lick your wounds and wait for time to heal. I want you to move on, but not because some sugary pleasure coaxes a smile. I want you to find joy in the depths of forgiveness. Celebrate the redemption you’ve been given. Look to that – not to something of earth that will distract you and cheer you up. Dig down deep into grace.
Little girl… one last thing. Now, don’t get a big head about this – but you are getting better. You’re maturing in Christ and by the power of the Spirit, you’re growing. Your righteousness will never be good enough, but there are a few baskets of fruit around your life. You’re learning to keep in step with the Spirit. Remember this – the mourning over the depth of your sin and the peace of repentance… and ask God for the strength and faith to live in obedience next time.