We’re all messed up. Yes, I know, that’s not a very positive statement to make. Some might suspect I’m a pessimist with a glass-half-empty perspective on life. I would argue that I’m a realist with a biblical worldview.
We all have sinned.
We all will continue to struggle with sin on this side of eternity.
We all have parts of our heart, mind, soul, and body that are not yet perfect.
Thankfully, the day is coming when we will be perfected and made completely whole, but that day is not yet known, and I’m not yet that person (and neither are you).
You’re probably thinking, “Thanks for pointing out my brokenness! Why can’t you just encourage me instead of bringing up my crap?”
Take a deep breath and read this next part very slowly: Your brokenness should encourage you.
“Dude, what are you smoking? How in the Hyundai can my struggle with sin be a good thing?”
What your brokenness can do for you:
It’s the messed up that discover God in the middle of their mess. He doesn’t run from the hurting; He runs to them with arms open wide.
It’s the weak that can find God’s strength.
It’s the sinful that recognize their need for mercy and grace.
It’s the needy person that empathizes with the other beggars standing in line.
It’s the sick and broken that realize they need help, and Doctor Jesus is always open for business.
It’s the humble person that forgives as they have been forgiven.
It’s the contrite of heart person that finds comfort and release from shame through the once-and-for-all sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
A while back, I had a long conversation with a young Christian man in Southern California who struggles with pornography. Consumed by guilt, he told me he felt disqualified to serve God because of his sin. He said he felt frustrated and unable to even sing in worship because of his failure. There was no joy in his life, and he was ready to give up and walk away from his faith because he believed Jesus was disgusted with him.
Does Jesus care about your sin? Of course, He does.
Does it matter when you are bound by unholy and unhealthy habits? Oh yeah.
Are there consequences for the poor choices you make? Often.
However, the answer to your struggle isn’t to give in to your sinful impulses without concern (abusing the gift of grace) or to quit your walk with God (abandoning grace). He understands you. He knows your human condition. He recognizes the spiritual war you face every day.
Regardless of any pattern of failure you might be trapped in, the answer is to learn to run to God’s throne of mercy and grace despite your sin. The answer is to fight in His power rather than yours. The answer is to yield continually to the Spirit as you learn to say yes to God, and no to sin more often than not. The answer is to let your sin and broken state remind you: You desperately need the grace and help of your Savior! Always have. Always will.
Maybe God expects you to struggle with sin more than you expect to wrestle with it. And maybe that’s why He provided His Word, His Spirit, His Church (you are not alone in your battle), and His ongoing invitation to continuously come to Him no matter what.
May I pray for you?
Father, sometimes we do well, and sometimes not. However, regardless of our success or failure, help us to remember that you are faithful, merciful, and full of grace even when we are not. Teach us to draw near to you no matter how messed up and broken we are, for You are the healer and redeemer we so desperately need. Amen.
“This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses,
for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God.
There we will receive his mercy,
and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”
Hebrews 4:15-16 (NLT)