Friday, November 11, 2011

Everything That Was True About Me...

I discovered at the lowest moment of my life that everything that was true about me, God knew. - Sheila Walsh
Most of our flaws are completely hidden from us. We see them readily in other people, but can't see them in ourselves. The thing that always gets me are people that are arrogant. What bothers me more than anything else is meeting someone who thinks they are better than me. In fact, I am so insecure I often imagine that people are snubbing me when in reality they aren't doing anything at all. So imagine my surprise when earlier this year a very trusted friend called me out on having an arrogant attitude. It should be no surprise that he was right on the money. I was arrogant. And I could see it in other people, but not in myself.

We deceive ourselves so often it's amazing we can make it through the day. But I know why we do it. If we hold the spotlight on someone else, then we don't have to deal with our own stuff. We don't have to deal with our own sin. And as long as we don't see our own sin, then we assume God doesn't see it either.

Churches are filled with people who think that they're pretty good. They don't see their own sin in the mirror and they point fingers, judge, and split people into categories-us and them. They have to do this because if your salvation is based upon being a good person, then you can't possibly admit to having serious faults. If you admit to yourself that you are arrogant (for example), or judgmental, or worse, then you are admitting that you don't really merit God's love and God's salvation.

None of this means, of course, that God doesn't see all of our faults and all of our sins. This is the great irony of it. In concealing our true selves from God, we are hiding from the only one who can heal us. The truth is that we will all discover sooner or later that "at the lowest moment of my life that everything that was true about me, God knew." If you are saved by your good works or your religious accomplishment then this will turn out to be terrible news.  God know everything that is true about me.  How can I stand before that. But if you are saved not by being very moral or by faithfully practicing religious rituals, but by God's work and his activity, then this truth isn't terrifying, it is liberating.  God knows everything that is true about me, and he still loves me anyway.

When you understand that you are not saved on the basis of your morality or religious observance you are free to look in the mirror and see the depth of your own sin. Because you are not saved by how good you are, you are saved because Jesus death on the cross paid the penalty for your sins.

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