I have noticed a weird pattern among Christians. A pattern that is causing so much distress among believers and maybe even some kind of prejudice among one another.
We all want to be normal.
When I became a Christian, I felt freedom. I realized that I had a God who loved me unconditionally. I was overwhelmed by two things: how disgustingly awful I am, and how freaking amazing Jesus is. In that short time span between actually realizing that I am a sinner and accepting the grace of God, I wanted to fall on my face and just lay on the floor for eternity. The weight of my sin for the first 20 years of my life was crushing my soul. And then, the burden was lifted. Christ redeemed me. He looked at me and said, “Yes. Her. She’s the one. She’s worth it.” And so he died. He came down to this crappy world and died. He was kicked, punched, whipped, spit on, and murdered so that my miserable soul could find redemption. And I did.
Somewhere between my conversion and now I have started falling into this mindset that I am not a “normal” Christian. Somewhere, I lost my freedom.
As a Christian, I live in fear of judgment. I live without freedom. There’s something wrong with that statement. This has nothing to do with Christianity; this has everything to do with me. I have created this mold that I think Christians are supposed to fit in, but no one told me that this mold existed. I get pissed at myself when I don’t fit the mold, and I judge other Christians who I think don’t fit the mold. So I’m sitting here, trying to shove other people into a mold that I don’t even fit in. This obviously means that NO ONE IS A REAL CHRISTIAN!
The harder I try to fit into the mold, the less I look at Jesus. The less I want Him. I get so caught up in trying to figure out the right technique, the right way to bend my body so that I can try to fit; I forget why I even want to fit. I forget that the whole reason I created this mold was so that I could be a “normal” Christian and worship Jesus correctly. It becomes much easier to hide the unflattering parts of me and just pretend that I fit the mold. Or just give up altogether.
After a while, I don’t remember the Gospel anymore. I don’t remember what sin is, and I don’t need forgiveness. I don’t need grace; I don’t need to be saved. Reading the Bible is not going to happen. Prayer? Forget about it!
So how does one come back from this? That handbook hasn’t come out yet, so I’m not really sure. Instead of writing a complete book, I just made a few tips for myself:
Quit Trying. Seriously. It’s impossible. It’s like trying to make “fetch” happen. It’s never going to happen. I guarantee that the minute you can accept the fact that YOU SUCK your life will get so much easier. Quit having expectations for yourself. Jump off your pedestal, because you don’t deserve to be up there. You suck. How many Commandments have you broken today? Do you even know the 10 Commandments? No? You suck.
We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. [Isaiah 64:6]
Quit Copying Other People. A relationship with God is a personal relationship. YOUR personal relationship with God is not HER personal relationship with God. One of the beautiful, wonderful things about our Creator is that He has the ability to have a personal, individual, intimate relationship with us. It’s so easy to forget. I have compared myself to plenty of other believers. “Why is my relationship with God not like her relationship with God?” Uh, because that’s HER relationship with God. Spend less time coveting someone else’s closeness to God and then you might have more time to learn how to tap into your own relationship with your Father.
Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he? [Isaiah 2:22]
Be Open And Honest. If you could seriously not care any less about God, then be honest about it. If you are questioning something about God, ask someone about it. Research it. If you are struggling with something, bring it to the light. Secrecy is a nasty, dark thing that will explode in your face, every single time. Every dirty thing that you’re hiding in the back of your spiritual closet will come bursting out when you least expect it. And if it doesn’t, you will live your entire life trying to protect the dark parts of your heart from the light, and you will become depressed and anxious. Let’s avoid that, shall we? Step into the light. If all of our hearts were completely exposed to each other, we would quit feeling any kind of pressure to be perfect, and we certainly wouldn’t be jealous of anyone else. You could see how much your friends suck, and all of a sudden, your suckiness isn’t as scary. We could all suck together!
Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her. [John 8:7]
Now What?Now that you realize how awful and worthless you are, you’re ready for the other half of the Gospel. God loves you unconditionally. He doesn’t love me despite the fact that I’m going to mess up. He loves me despite the fact that I am messed up. There is a big difference. We can’t escape our sinfulness. You are the problem, not your actions. This, friends, is why we need Jesus. No good deed will ever be good enough to change your nature. We get so caught up in trying to behave because we think that we will impress God (HA!). Jesus came down to this world so that He could show us what perfection looks like. He lived out the 10 Commandments not only because we couldn’t, but so we wouldn’t have to try anymore. He freed us from the Law! We are FREE! There is no mold to fit into. I was a crappy contortionist anyway.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. [John 3:17]
Realizing a Truth like that should leave you in awe. The grace of God heavily outweighs your sinfulness. And His grace is never-ending. Every morning, you have an opportunity to be a new creation (Lamentations 3:23). How refreshing does that sound? If He is offering you such a thing, you would be crazy not to take it.
Here’s the deal. We are all disgusting freaks. There is no “normal” on Earth. According to God, the only “norm” would be perfection. All he can see is perfection. Anything other than that is a sick abomination to God. So why don’t we quit trying to be normal? Why don’t we embrace who we are, quit trying to fit into a mold of normalcy, and let Jesus overtake our hearts? Who are we to judge each other? Who are we to judge ourselves?
Investigate this Truth. Read about Jesus. You suck. He doesn’t.