It's hard for most of us to admit that we are still part of the problem, that we still have broken places in our lives. We like to claim that this is because we don't want a world who doesn't know Jesus to think that He is not sufficient, that believing in Him doesn't really change a person's life all that much. That perhaps He is even irrelevant, since we go on living in the same sort of sin and having the same kind of struggle that we had before we met Him. We don't want to bear a bad witness, we say, so we keep our broken bits to ourselves.
It sounds nice, I guess, but it's not really the truth. Not the whole truth, anyway.
The truth is that we don't confess our ongoing brokenness because we don't want to think that perhaps Jesus is not sufficient. We don't want to think that believing in Him hasn't really changed our life all that much. We don't want to wonder if maybe He's irrelevant. We don't want to have to question our own faith.
Because the truth about confessing our ongoing brokenness is that is makes us feel unredeemed.
It makes us feel like Jesus hasn't done His work in us, like we haven't received the gift of His grace yet. It makes us feel like we're messing everything up, like we're falling short so bad that even Jesus can't reach us. It makes us question whether or not we're cut out for this faith thing or whether, maybe, we're just one big disappointment to God and He, not we, would be better off without us.
Have you felt this? Most of us have felt this at one time or another. Many of us are feeling it right now. Like somehow, because we still struggle with a lot of the same things that we've always seemed to struggle with, Jesus's death on the cross was...not for us. It wasn't sufficient for us. It wasn't satisfactory for us. We are bigger sinners than God reckoned on, so it wasn't meant for us. Like maybe God meant to die for all of the sinners who could even possibly be redeemed and well, that's not us. We are clearly unredeemable. We look at our still-broken lives and we think that we just cannot be saved.
And this isn't about anyone else who may be looking in on us; this is us looking in ourselves, looking into the depths of our own souls and having these deep questions about who, then, we are and who God might be because we are just so disgusting and so dirty and so disappointing that we live, apparently, somewhere beyond even grace. Somewhere outside of the reach of a God who says He wraps His arms from east to west and holds everything together.
He holds everything together, and here we are, falling apart. And it just doesn't seem possible, then, that this message of love and grace and reconciliation and redemption was really meant for us.
But our faith keeps us from saying this is God's shortcoming. We know better. We know that His grace is enough. And we keep spouting all of these religious ideas that have been pounded into our heads for so long, but have never quite gotten into our hearts. And if all of this is true about God, then the problem must be...me. And if the problem is me, most of us know instinctively, then it's hopeless. Because, well, look at me.
So it's easier to just pretend that our lives are okay. That they're better now. That they're downright near perfect because Jesus is in them. We lie to others because really, we have to lie to ourselves. We cannot handle our own depravity. And we cannot fathom the greatest of all truths that we have professed with our lips - that God can.
Thus, we keep living our lives as though we are unredeemed, and we live our witness that way, too. God is good. He's just...not good enough for broken like me. But you, you should totally have Him. And then the world decides that God is not good enough for them, either. And all of a sudden, we have an entire generation of persons who know about the love of God but have never experienced it because they think that somehow, they're messed up beyond where His grace reaches. And it's not too far from that that we have an entire generation of persons who don't even care to know God any more because He's not enough for them. Or rather, they're too much for Him.
Let me tell you something - you are not too much for God. I don't care who you are, what you're dealing with, what you can't seem to get rid of in your life. You are not too much for God. You are not so special in your burden that the Cross wasn't meant for you, and you are not so buried in your sin that it wasn't sufficient for you. There's not a single person on this earth, now or ever, that Jesus didn't intend to walk out of that grave with Him, and that means you. You are not unredeemed, even if your life isn't perfect.
For by the grace of God, we are all being saved. All of us. Every single one.
And His grace. is. enough.