I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to ‘live right’ as a believer. As I started on the journey 10 years ago, there was a lot of input from the Christian community around me full of people who seemed to me like they had it all together … And I tried to become that. It was good in so MANY ways, because it held with it a lot of accountability on change as a young believer. But something lacked in my heart trying to live in perfection.
I wanted to be good enough for God – to somehow earn that right. I clung to my ‘good living’ as if I could somehow gain my way to God’s throne. Time and time again, my humanness would get in the way and I’d either mess up or intentionally rebel in an effort to figure out what it was that I was supposed to be as a Christian in a world that didn’t quite make sense to me. And I couldn’t quite measure up…
I wish it could have been in silence with no eyes watching my struggle.
But life doesn’t work like that. People see. People (Christian or not) create assumptions at my character AND of the God I represent. They don’t see the fact that I’m trying to figure out what I believe myself. They see simply what I say I am. I haven’t wanted people to look to me as an example of Christian living because I’m so fully human that I continue to fail in many of my effort to be ‘pure.’
But I’m realizing something different too.
Christian or not, I’m fully human. As a believer in Jesus, I STILL can’t be good enough for heaven. That’s Jesus’ whole purpose on the cross. He came so that he could pay that price, knowing that in my humanness I could NEVER reach perfect righteousness without his blood offering. And even in my struggles and my searching as a human, I can find full perfection in THIS ACT ON THE CROSS.
Jesus in me is what I want people to see. That means radical transformation every day in my life and THINKING MORE LIKE JESUS and less like my fleshly self. It does NOT mean that I’ll quit struggling, or suddenly be perfect, and never be confused about what’s right and wrong and where I fit in the bigger picture of it all. So here’s the thing…
I hope you see my heart in the middle of the mess my life can sometimes be. I hope that you can see a daughter that’s trying to figure out how to live so her eternal Father gets GLORY. But I hope you can see that I don’t have it all figured out either because being a believer doesn’t make you perfect. It doesn’t mean that you suddenly discover what it means to live and die and how to live every moment in between.
Instead it means there’s HOPE in the middle of that beautiful struggle. There’s GOOD FRIDAY and better yet EASTER that reminds us that we DON’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT BECAUSE WE’VE BEEN COVERED with a pure garment of righteousness that we never deserved and that we’ll never be able to give back enough towards.
I’ve never been more aware of the great covering and sacrifice of the cross. It bears my failures. It bears my humanness in all that ugliness.
So look at the real picture – not the girl on the outside who does good and lives nicely. See a child that’s been forgiven for all the mistakes that I made ten years ago, and today. See that, and if you haven’t felt that yourself – that washing and FREEING knowledge of the heart, find it. Because that’s the hope that’s worth living for. That’s what it means to be a believer.