The Truth About Christians // So Unworthy, Yet So Loved

Friday, August 21, 2015

As a small child I would always run everywhere: down the hall, down the stairs, around the pool, through my grandparents house, everywhere. Too many times to count I received scrapes, cuts and bruises, once running into the corner of my dresser. I went to the emergency room to get stitches, easily the most traumatizing experience of my life (or maybe a second to the twenty yellow jacket stings -- not sure about that one). Anyway, the point is that I've received my share of bruises, and they aren't fun.

The Bible assures us that Jesus Christ's sacrifice gives us eternal life with Him. It tells us that because of God's regenerating grace, we are constantly made new and others will know us by our works. American Christianity has changed, though. We've become arrogant and focused on ourselves instead of our God. We scoff at others because they sin, but we don't see our own sin. We've become too confident in ourselves. We're running the race, but not with God by our side.

When we become too confident in ourselves and run without God by our side, we fall. We all make mistakes; we all see ourselves as adequate, but in reality we are miserably inadequate. 

I've found that Christians often appear more miserable than non-believers because the Holy Spirit has made us more aware of our sin. We know that we're falling short of God's glory daily. We see the scrapes and bruises and black eyes that so many cover up. We so often hold ourselves to God's standards without accepting God's grace. We are lured into the trap of thinking that Christians are perfect, and if we're not perfect, we're terrible Christians.

I have been struggling with this since the day Jesus saved me. I have fallen into idolatry, disrespected my parents countless times, and so much more, all while proclaiming the name of Jesus. But you know what? Peter denied Jesus three times; Paul confesses just before writing what is known as the greatest chapter in the Bible, Romans 8, that his heart is wicked (Rom. 7:21-25); King David, known as a man after God's own heart ordered that his friend to be killed because he committed adultery with his wife. All this does not justify our sin, but it does make God's grace all the more powerful. 

Christians, when you are accepted into the body of Christ, you do not become perfect. You do not become suddenly better than everyone else; you become saved -- saved from the sin you have committed and saved from the sin you will commit. This is not because your heart is a little better than your next door neighbor's; this is because Jesus' gift of salvation satisfies God's need for justice. As R.C. Sproul said, "We are saved by works, but they're not our own." Jesus not only died for us, He lived a perfect life for us. Not only are our sins transferred to Him; His perfect holiness and righteousness is transferred to us. We are not saved because we reached out to God in our time of need. We are saved because God chose to save us by His amazing, unexplainable grace. 

You're going to slip up. Sometimes you could come home with a black eye, some days a broken leg, or some days just a little scrape, but you are never too far gone for God. God lets us mourn over our sin so that we will rejoice over His grace. He humbles us so that His strength will be shown through us. He lets us fall so that we repent and let him pick us up again. 

Psalm 37:23 reads, "The steps of a man are established by the Lord when he delights in [God's] way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand" (ESV).

With that, I have a confession: I've been putting people over God. I've been yearning for human love instead of God's love. I've decided that His grace wasn't enough for me, but, oh, how empty that made me feel. Once you have tasted the Lord's goodness, there is no adequate substitute. I am blessed that God has convicted me of this sin because it can bring me closer to Him and make me more dependent on Him. 

Salvation does not point to our adequacy, but God's great grace. It does not make us more deserving than anyone else. This life is not about us, but about God. God doesn't promise that this life will be great, but we're not living for this life; we're living for the next. And, oh, I long for that day. But until then, we must point to God and his grace at all costs because you know what? The only reason this post is possibly affecting you is because of God's power. Without Him, my words mean nothing. With Him and because of Him, though, these words can change hearts.

Christians were named Christians not by themselves, but by other people. People saw the Church and said, "They must follow Jesus." Can we come to that point again? Can we stand out and point to God with everything we have? My burden for countries where Christianity is legal, like the U.S., is for the Christians to become renewed in their confidence in God, not themselves, for them to boast in God's greatness, not our own, to make God look big, not us. Can we do that? Philippians 4:13 says we "can do all things through Christ." Let's do it; let's start a revolution for God and by God.

 P.S. This morning I woke up to 1,430 page views on [this post], and I am beyond thankful. I'm thankful for anyone who reads this little site. Know that this is God's power, not mine. Know that I fall, but God picks me up. It is by His grace that I am saved. He planted this faith inside me and He cultivates it. Jesus intercedes on my behalf daily, and for that, I am obligated to live a life of praise to Him. To God be the glory, for great things He hath done.

Title creds to my best friend Madilyn. She tweeted it and I had to use it.


  1. This post is perfect and you have know idea how much I needed it. I've been struggling lately with what it truly means to be a Christian, even though I've been raised in a Christian home. I've had to go back to the drawing board and start back over. That's the thing, though, isn't it? True Christianity isn't tradition; something you do just because you were raised to. At some point, you're going to reach the edge of that "it's just what I'm supposed to do!" cliff, and you're going to have to decide if you'll take faith and jump off that cliff into the darkness, or if you're going to run back into the safety of "tradition" and "it's what I was raised to do".

    Okay, wow. So I just basically wrote a whole new blog post in your comments section. Sorry >_< I just wanted to let you know how much this post affected and helped me, especially with my struggle right now. So thank you :)

    O | Life as a Young Lady

    1. I'm so glad you commented, O. It's a total God-thing that you ended up reading it, I think. And you are so, so right. True Christianity is so much more than tradition; it's a whole different worldview and a whole lot of faith.

      Thanks for stopping by,

  2. I don't know if you've ever heard of it, but I went to The Wilds. It's a Christian camp, and while I was there, I realized that everything I did was just a front. Yet now I see every little smudge in my life. It is really hard to live this new life, but it will be worth it! Yet again another great post! :)

    1. NO WAY! I go to the Wilds too! I always learn so much when I go there. The preaching is great, and the focus is always on God. This life can be hard, but I think when we keep our eyes on God and remember all He has for us we know that it will be worth it.

      Thanks again for reading, Isaac! I'll be praying for you.

      Mary Shelley

  3. "I've decided that His grace wasn't enough for me, but, oh, how empty that made me feel."
    That, how true. When we believe that other things are more important than Him, we feel empty. One of my favorite things to think about is that when we let sinful nature control our mind it leads to death. But when we allow the Spirit to control our mind, it leads to life and peace. (And same thing with our lives as well as thoughts)
    I just struggle to put into words every time I read your writing how much it means to me. Every single thing you say, I'm just like "amen. amen. AGAIN."

    And we relate in so many ways, you are such an encouragement to me girl!

    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Laur <3. And I feel the same way about your blog. I'm so glad we're here to encourage each other. :)


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