There is a time in most people’s lives when they have a sense of regret and want to change the past, generally due to recognising past negative experiences or suffering from early trauma. As I’m sure you know in the natural this can never actually happen but with an acceptance of a relationship with a living, forgiving and gracious God they can live a life that is washed clean of guilt and sin. Come into the church and praise God they hear, this is really where most things start to go wrong for young Christians. In my experience there is a “spirit” of niceness which very often is quite disingenuous and the new Christian is led to believe they have to make the grade.
I have never bought into that deception thankfully because I realised very early on in my Christian walk that almost all the people who come into the church have fallen from Grace knowing they need someone greater than themselves. I think if people were informed of the truth more often and don’t fall for the hype the church as a whole would be in better shape. After I gave my life to Jesus almost 30 years ago it occurred to me that I suddenly had all these issues and felt overwhelmed at the enormity of my problems. All my weaknesses seemed to be highlighted because I had never identified my negative behaviour before as sin. For the most part I believe I was a victim of other people’s expectations of a Christian and the life one was expected to live. The curse of the church’s intolerance I call it.
In fact there was never a problem it was just that there was no-one around to be real with me and say look, it doesn’t matter that you can’t make the grade no-one can. That’s the point of the holy spirit and the fact is Jesus died and became sin for us all. In reality all my sin and future sin has been dealt with and I have come to a point where I want to live a life of gratitude and to stop trying to mimic this niceness that simply isn’t meant to be. If I screw up it doesn’t matter just pick your self up and move on. King David did and he was considered a man after God’s own heart.
God has given each of us gifts and talents that no–one else can possibly do or achieve for him. Isn’t that a great deal, that in fact makes me unique. My Gifts, my talents are being used in a way that no-one else can possibly achieve. I think that’s worth celebrating.
I pray that our church under goes radical change in such a way that people are unafraid to make mistakes because it is in these mistakes that we become a people worthy of God.