Originally published Thursday, 02 February 2017.
Oh, I've made some mistakes. Some big ones. I am not proud of them either. At risk of you hating me, and of pigeonholing myself into the corner of worst-Christian-ever, I am going to share 12 things I wish I would have never done.
If Jesus tells us to confess our sins to one another, I guess, you can call this an uber-confession.
Now, as a disclaimer to the disclaimer I wrote above, I fully know, some things may make you feel uncomfortable, but what I hope is, by sharing, admitting and bringing to light my worst, we are all inspired to fully move into God's best. There is power in acknowledgment, in stepping out in complete transparency, with the purpose of leaving behind what God never called us to carry ahead.
So without further ado...
15 things I wish I never did as a Christian:
- Critiqued the Pastor's Sermon: He's boring, self-indulgent, missing the point, too knowledge focused, too story-focused, too animated, not animated enough or missing the point.
- Decided myself more holy than others. At times, I've worn a church-going halo, while internally criticizing the gal who hasn't said hello to church in weeks.
- Believed I need to be less Jesus-y. Thinking, if I shine too bright, people's eyes may bug out in fright. If I show my strong love for Jesus, they may run away thinking I am a bible bumpin' freek-a-zoid.
- Kept up with the Jesus Joneses' on Social Media. If my image isn't pretty enough, calligraphy'ed enough or bright enough, I figured God's Word wouldn't be appealing enough to the masses.
- Made an exasperated sigh at mention of, yet-again, another sermon on tithing, its merits and why I'm completely, entirely, and utterly missing out - and impacting the church in a horrible way - if I don't drop my wallet in the basket.
- Figured humility was about: 1.) Never accepting compliments 2.) Believing you couldn't really do things 3.) Acting like you hated yourself.
- Received grace only after acting godly enough and/or hard enough to receive it. Usually allowing myself 3 days to writhe in anxiety and worry before letting in what Christ already accomplished. Keeping company with shame.
- Decided that girl is not a Christian because she didn't say hi to me, lied to me or brushed by me - 3 too many times.
- Believed to "deny myself" and to "live for Christ" meant I skip past who God made me to be, to jump ahead to who - you, or others - desire me to be. I forgot my God-given voice.
- Made snap-decisions on the motives and heartbeat of non-believers without wanting - to know them, their problems or their setbacks in life.
- Forgot the poor. Walked right past them.
- Lived a life in pursuit of getting my latte, my life in order or my late self to my next place.
- Missed the opportunity to wear glasses of love.
- Placed my sin on a scale. Gleefully, watching the lead load of other's sin crash low - while seeing the feather-light weight of mine - fly high. Who made me judge?
- Found myself worried about, focused on and tightly gripping many things, instead of falling in love with the One and Only thing (the King) that matters - God.
This list is a petri-dish of ugly. My go-to instinct is ugly. My new identity in Christ - is beautiful.
What is your ugly? What judgment lurks behind the doors of your mind? What Christian shame has crept up on you like a night crawler ready to attack?
It is not too much for God. It is not too great for his healing hand. It is not going to disqualify you from heaven, I assure you.
"Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me." (Ps. 51:10)
Prayer: Dear God, I am far from the image of glowing Christian. I am far from kind, some days. I do things, in my head, that would embarrass me greatly if they came out of my mouth. Sometimes, I feel ashamed of that. I ask you to teach me your ways. I ask you to lead me in your grace. I ask you to forgive me for the ways, I've hurt you and others intentionally or unintentionally. Will you restore my heart in peace and trust? Will you help me know that what I've done no longer stands against me? You stand for me. You stand with me. You mark me forgiven. In the name of Jesus, I pray, Amen.
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