Some days I am acutely aware of my failings. As I came to write today’s post, this reality is very true for me. While I read an interesting article last year about the dangers of applauding sin, I also recognise that it is easy to have a rose-coloured view of others’ lives, thinking it is all ‘Hallelujah’s’ and cups of tea. In my life, there is the reality of sin. I recognise I fail and hurt others. Those whom I love the most often get less than love from me. I lack courage. I speak in haste and often harsh words fly out.
I don’t like wearing white and I actually admire those brave people who do. I think it probably started when I was young, but is one of those unfounded fears. For some reason, when I dress in white I feel that I am going to drop something down myself or sit on something, making the fact I missed my mouth obvious to everyone around me. The funny thing is, that we so often treat our lives like a beautiful white outfit, trying to keep it appear clean in order to fool those around us. We think that if our life looks perfect, they will think that we don’t fail like others. The thing about Christianity though, is that the Gospel declares we are incapable of white in and of ourselves. We aren’t holy people who have fallen; we have the venom of sin weaving its tentacles through our veins from conception. And this isn’t a surprise to God. Jesus, in going to the cross, declared this fact to everyone: “Emily is a wretched sinner, so badly messed up I needed to save her!” But this is liberating- as our sin is exposed, we taste the freedom of life with Jesus as grace flows from the cross.
At the cross, we are redeemed. Our rags are made into white robes of righteousness, through the grace of Jesus.
Like Paul, I still get frustrated when my flesh does what I do not want to do. I get upset when I let people down, disappoint or hurt others. I get convicted of my sin and so desire to be more like Jesus- loving instead of judging, speaking truth in love, slow to anger and rich in mercy, in submission with my Father. Yet even as I earnestly desire these things, I get such comfort, knowing that Jesus nailed my failings to the cross. Like the women Jesus’ came in contact with, he revealed their sin and told them to go and sin no more. He loves us enough to grow and change us. As we journey the steps set before us, may we press on- empowered by the Holy Spirit, equipped by the Word and living life as works in progress, tools in the hand of the Craftsman, for this is just what we are.