I recently listened to a lady in her early 50s explain that she had been going to church for only a couple of years because for most of her life she was scared to go to church. She said she felt unworthy because all “those” people had it “together” and she was full of sin. This broke my heart for her. I have to believe this breaks God’s heart as well.
No person has ever had a love and acceptance for sinners in the way Jesus displayed during his time on Earth. And, yet, Christians can too often give the impression that they are better or more worthy because they go to church. And, worse, Christians can be very hard on each other. People look at Christians and judge them for being fallible. They say things like “she claims to be a Christian but she does X”. It becomes hard to be a Christian and be vulnerable and authentic. Sometimes when I’m talking to another Christian I feel like I can’t tell them about the ways in which I fall short of the ideal. I feel a sense of impending judgment.
Here is some truth:
Being a sinner and loving God doesn’t make you a hypocrite it makes you human. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. And whether we’ve accepted Christ or not, we are unworthy when compared to His perfection. The most beautiful thing about the Christian faith is the amazing love, grace and ability to forgive our Father displays to us. Why, then, are we so insecure that we can’t display those same qualities to other people?
My wish for Christians is that we can feel free to be real and authentic – that we could show our sin and our scars. My wish is that we could show each other love and grace. One of the most powerful tools of darkness is judgment and fear. When we bring our own shortcomings to light, they lose their power. When we feel as though we need to hide them, they grow. The most amazing feeling in the world is to show your imperfections and be loved anyway. That is what our Father does for us. That is what I wish we would all do for one another.