I really hate seeing my own sin. At the same time, I know that seeing the worst parts of me keeps me dependent on Jesus. It keeps me from becoming self-righteous and from thinking that I don’t need Jesus. Partly because of the way I was raised at church and at home, it is so difficult for me to show my imperfections. Growing up, I don’t remember anyone in my family or my church admitting to struggles or imperfections. When I mess up, I just want to run and hide so that no one can see me. I get so angry at myself. I can’t stand admitting my sin and apologizing to others. Not because I don’t think I am wrong, but because I do know that I’ve messed up, and it is so uncomfortable for me to own it and move past it. Basically, it is almost impossible for me to be vulnerable. However, I realize that real community and real relationships are all about being vulnerable – messing up and forgiving each other; being honest about our struggles instead of hiding them. I also know that our weakness is what God uses to show his power:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9
We must come to the end of ourselves – and then we are exactly where God wants us. Exactly in a place where he can show himself and his power.
Recently, I attended a weekend women’s retreat with my church. I love retreat weekends like these where the focus is on spending time with God and other women. My favorite part is always the scheduled quiet time where I can spend hours communicating with God with no distractions. During this particular quiet time, God really began to teach me some things about the dialogue that runs through my head. I don’t know if any of you struggle with this, but I’m specifically talking about the thoughts in my head that are reproachful, condemning, negative. The ones that tell me I’m worthless because I’m struggling with a particular sin. The dialogue that constantly condemns me when I mess up. In particular, God plainly showed me that he is not the one speaking to me in that manner. His voice is gentle and loving – yet powerful. His voice may convict but it will never condemn, because:
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
Sometimes I struggle to comprehend God’s love for us. How is it unwavering and unconditional? How can he love me when I struggle to love myself at times? I may not understand how, but I believe that he is true to his word. I believe that the God who created me and created this magnificent earth – including the ocean waves that I hear outside my hotel room right now – loves me so much that he provided a way for me to be free and forgiven from my sin. He came to earth as a man and died in my place so that I can be free from condemnation. So, I choose to see my sin through the eyes of the one whose blood covers it completely.