If you read my last post, you know that I ended with 2 points.
1) I often don’t understand the greatness of my sin
2) I often don’t understand the greatness of my Savior.
During my time at SuCo2014, I realized that trying to grasp and understand sin is more difficult than I expected. In all honesty, I didn’t realize that I was sinful until I got to college. I always knew that I was sinful because “that’s what the Bible said.” But I didn’t know I was sinful because of how I was living my life, how I was thinking, how I was feeling in my heart.
Because I don’t fully understand sin, I often don’t know how to look at it. But here’s what I’ve learned about myself: I am affected to my core with a plague. I have a nasty virus that runs through my veins. This virus is killing me from the inside out. It rejects righteousness. It murders peace. It cheats on holiness. It abhors grace. There is nothing in me that wants Jesus. There is nothing in me that wants righteousness, peace, holiness, or grace. But you see, this sickness I’m dealing with doesn’t know that. This sickness has me deceived into thinking that I either A) don’t need those things because I can earn them myself, or B) don’t need those things because I’m not that bad. But I AM that bad. When I’m sick I run the show, I’m the boss, I’m in control. I…I…I…Me…Me…Me…
So what does this look like in my life? Well, it looks like me spending way too much time at night trying to plan my outfit the night before. I plan, so I can look presentable and gain approval from whomever I see the next day. It looks like me saying and doing things just so other people can see me doing them. It looks like me constantly comparing myself to people that I see in class, on the street, in the store, etc. It looks like me pursuing friendships so that I can get something out of them rather than trying to give something to them. It looks like me. It’s all about me. My sickness, my disease, my illness is me. I’m the problem.
And so I look at this 3 different ways:
1) Like cancer. Buckets of shame. I dwell in my sickness and let it grow from stage 1 to stage 4. I just sit there in self pity. I determine that my condition is terminal.
2) Like a cold. I don’t realize it/I ignore it. I’m convinced that it’s not as big of a problem as I make it out to be. Therefore, I don’t really need to look at it or pay attention to it. I can just let it run its course because it will go away eventually.
3) Like a symptom. I treat the problem like I haven’t been infected yet. I work really hard and do everything I can to keep the issue small. If I do all the right things and say the right things, I can avoid getting sick all together. I may have a stuffy nose for a day, but I’m not sick.
All three are terribly wrong and I need to repent for all three ways of thought. Why?
Because none of the viewpoints involve Jesus. I care way too much about how I view myself and how others view me that I often don’t care to remember how Jesus views me.
So, I have to stay in the Word. I have to read my Bible because I don’t know how to look at Jesus and I need to be reminded not just of what He’s done for me, but of who He is. (And let me tell you, this is really hard for me to express and explain because the sickness in me is screaming, “Jayna! Don’t admit to that. Everyone is going to mock and shame you for this. You shouldn’t be dealing with this anymore. You should understand the whole Jesus-thing by now.”) But y’all, talking about my shame and weakness only magnifies amazing power of the One who saved me from that shame and weakness. Praise God for giving me strength and courage.
To describe Jesus in all of His fullness would be like trying to describe what a hug feels like. You can compare it to as many things as you want and use as many great adjectives as you can think of, but you won’t know what a hug feels like until you experience one. Jesus is the same way. Until you experience a taste of who He is, it’s hard to fully grasp and explain all that He is. And even when you experience an encounter with Jesus, there’s more and more and more that will forever and constantly keep going.
He is too big for me to understand and more than enough to remove my sin sickness that’s past, present, and future.
Because of Jesus I am righteous. Because of Jesus I am clean. Because of Jesus I am free. Because of Jesus I am holy. Because of Jesus I am justified. My sickness is so bad that I needed a Savior. And I have a Savior that chose to save me when He didn’t have to. But because He chose me, because He died for me, all that He is and all that He has is now mine. It’s mine as if it had always been mine. It’s my inheritance. It’s my life. It’s engrained in my DNA cleaning and purifying every ounce of my illness.
I Idolize myself and how others see me. My idolatry is rooted in a hatred towards God, and a love of what others think. But God loved me enough to draw me to the cross and allow me to have a glimpse of perfection. I didn’t have to do a single thing. I didn’t have to earn the antidote. Life and life more abundantly was freely given to me through grace.
At the foot of the cross, I become small and my God becomes big.
At the foot of the cross, My sin becomes huge, but my Savior becomes enormous.
At the foot of the cross, I can understand the weight of my sin and the greatness of it because at the foot of the cross I can understand the goodness of my Savior and the greatness of Him.
God, in all of His amazing love, chose to draw me there–not to shame me for my sickness, but to see Him. It is His love that draws me toward repentance.
My justification (being made right through Christ) required nothing of me, but my sanctification (becoming more like Jesus), does require something of me.
To be continued…
[Jesus, may I continually return to the foot of the cross so I can properly see my sin and properly repent. Keep me there so I can see You and how great You are.]