I’m not going to lie, I love when a reader emails me and tells me how much they enjoy my blog, how much they relate to it, and how real-world I make things. I love those emails. I file them away in my “Happy Mail” folder to read when I’m feeling down or after I receive a nasty comment or email (because those come too). Knowing people relate to me and my words makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. No joke.
But here’s what I’ve been wondering lately: if so many of us are like me, this messy ball of good tries but kind of off, what does that say about Christianity? Is there no hope for us? Because if I’m the majority, people, WE’RE IN TROUBLE.
And I say that with humor and love, but with some concern too. Because I’m sometimes good, but never great. I enjoy a curse word more than my mom would like. I read my Bible and journal and spend time with my Father, but not every single day. I try to be Jesus while I’m driving, but there are just so many stupid people out there that it’s hard. And I’m working on the forgiveness thing, but it’s difficult when I’m right all the time.
Do you see? Do you see why I’m worried? If this is us (because it is FOR SURE me…), if this is the bride of Christ and the Church to the world, no wonder we’re not doing so hot right now. No wonder churches keep closing and we’re losing the next generation. And the current one. And maybe the one before that too.
Like most things I write, this is directed at me. I know that when I look in the mirror, I constantly see the things I lack instead of the things I already have. I know that’s not the way God sees us and I try to see myself as God sees me, as his beautiful creation made in his image and meant to glorify him in all I do, but sometimes I have a hard time remembering there’s good in me. Sometimes I have a hard time remembering He is good in me. And during those times, I love to revisit the stories of Jesus calling the lowest of the low to follow him, to be his disciples, to share his word. I find comfort in knowing that Jesus loved Peter in spite of the fact that later he would betray him. A betrayal that would lead to his death. That’s a powerful kind of love.
I try every day to remember that love. To feel that love. To show that love.
But I normally fall short. Really short. And I’m worried that if this is it, we’re not doing that great of a job.
I’m not doing that great of a job.
This all came about recently when someone mentioned that I had some influence over someone. My first thought was “oh shit, we’re in trouble.” That was because I like to make myself laugh and also because I’m very honest with myself.
I want to be like Jesus, I want people to see Jesus when they look at me. But mostly they’re going to see me rolling my eyes, laughing at inappropriate things, and sometimes being the last person to help others because I’m lazy. And busy. But mostly lazy. Those aren’t Jesus things, guys. (I KNOW. Shocking.)
While I’m wrestling with the idea that I’m not doing my job as a Christ follower, I’m finding a little solace in the fact that God can and is using me in spite of myself. He’s parceling out the good bits that can help others and making those shine while He’s refining the not-so-great ones. He can use me (and you!) for his kingdom work just as we are right this second, without a shiny halo and crisp new Bible tract to hand out to strangers. He can use your mess and hurt and laugh and heart to do powerful things.
But I’m not satisfied. I don’t want this to be as good as it gets. I don’t want this to be my best. How about you?