Friday, August 05, 2005

Stumbling through the lines

How do I say I’m sorry after so much time? I feel like the whole weight of who I’ve been was dumped on me yesterday and I am disgusted by it. Bearing the name of Christ I have lived by the law, being proud when keeping it and hiding when I broke it. I have been mean, a hypocrite of the worst kind, and all the while thinking that I am the one living right. I am so sad right now.

In high school I was a visible Christian, a goody-goody, I even had a friend that used to annoy me by telling me I was perfect. I went to church, Christian summer camps and even sang at these places, all the while hiding the many sins in which I reveled. Stuck in my middle-class, American, Bible-belt box, I had no idea what the love of God really is, I’m not even really sure that I know now. Grace was definitely not spoken of except in prayers and songs and was a novelty of a word, hardly an idea or action. There are so many people I feel like I need to apologize to; for making the Gospel look like a set of rules and regulations, for closing myself off to them because I did not deem them worthy of my love and attention, much less God’s. I have written off so many people as “bad” people and walked around with my nose in the air and head in the clouds. And Jesus is nothing like that. He debased Himself as God by becoming human and living life perfectly and dying for me because I cannot. I deserve death because of the things I have done, but by the grace of God through the person on Christ, I have life. Jesus spent time with all kinds of people and showed no favoritism between groups while he lived on earth. He loved infinitely and never once took the attitude that He was better than others or more worthy of respect, even though he was the only living person who ever in fact was. This is the person I want to exemplify. The One who loved everyone despite what they had done in the past, what they were doing at the time, their social status or what they could give to him. I have gotten it all wrong for so long.

I am so sorry. God is so much bigger than I can ever imagine and His love is infinitely different and greater than mine. I’m sorry for the hypocrisy, please know that Jesus, the Son of God and Savior of the world, is so much different than me. He is not self seeking and He does not give his love with conditions. As a Christian, I am made right with God solely because of the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ, NOT anything I have ever done or will ever do. My heart is saddened today because I have tried for so long to earn salvation and I have turned people, my friends, people I love dearly, off to the Gospel or sent them spiraling down the same road of self-sufficiency that I have traveled for so long. Yet I take joy in the fact that, as my pastor so often reminds us, “It’s okay because that’s why Jesus died!” I am a sinner, I can’t do anything about it except be changed by the love of Christ, revel in the fact that I am justified before God by Grace Alone. I have been declared righteous. And I think, this is the beginning of the Gospel.


Jason said...

Great post, Kel! You're dead-on. You should submit your confession to our church for us to use in the liturgy. You speak for all of us.

jenna said...

thanks for sharing this & being so transparent. it's a powerful reminder to me of the person i was and still am most of the time. and of God's grace for us:

"What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!"

Romans 7:24-5

Carrie said...

Thanks for such a strong and clear reminder of the gospel.

Amanda P. said...

Hey Kelli,
You and I went to high school together. A friend of mine showed me this post. I am so thankful you posted this out to the world. I became an atheist for a long time because of the hypocrisy of so many Christians. I am glad you saw the light. I finally found Jesus recently and I have learned to forgive. Peace be with you.