The Gospel is for me too

I have no problem giving others grace. Well, not entirely. But I struggle most with giving myself grace. Maybe I srtuggle most with actually believing the Gospel. Good News. A message of hope… that’s what Jesus came for wasn’t it? And isn’t that what He calls us to preach? Love, hope, forgiveness, grace = truth. Yet as much as I love to encourage others with this message, and sincerely believe in it for others as I speak it – I just can’t get it through to myself that this message is for me too. Call it elitist, call it pride, call it sin… I struggle with it. I’ve cried three times in the past week and a half. Why? I don’t believe the Gospel. I’m so afraid of disappointing people, disappointing God, and failing that when it comes down to it – I forget that “It is finished.” I’m not perfect and I never will be. I’m not going to do the dishes every time. I’m not going to plan trips home perfectly. I’m not going to please everyone no matter how hard I try. I’m not going to do all of my reading in school. I’m not going to love others the way Christ loves them and loves me. I’m not going to be perfect in the purity of my relationship with JD. I’m not going to get the grades I want in school. My writing will suck sometimes. I’m not going to be a perfect Christian. It’s not going to happen. And I’m not meant to. I’m not meant to do it on my own.
I heard truth today. It was raw and it was earnest and it was full of grace. “Annie, Jesus came because we couldn’t do it.” I’ve said it a million times. It’s been a while since I’ve heard it for myself. And this is what has been turning over in my mind as of late…
What if repentance was the acknowledgement of a Savior? Why do I feel so guilty and hopeless when I try to repent and just fail over and over again? Where is the Good News in that? I’m sorry but the Gospel isn’t good news if the focus is on repenting and turning from sin. Can’t do it. It’s Romans 7 all over again. I do the things I don’t want to do and what I want to do I don’t do. So why do we preach repentance? Is it possible that our perception of repentance is sometimes on the act of the sin rather than the state of the sinner? What if repentance really looked like the woman who was to be stoned acknowledging that she had been forgiven. “Go and sin no more.” What if the meat of that message is: Cling to Jesus. Believe that He does not condemn you and live free in that. Yet I often hear: Don’t do that sin. And it terrifies me. Because I will never be good enough. I will always sin. Where is the freedom of the Gospel then? “It is finished.” My problem? I don’t believe it. Only today I heard it for the first time directly spoken to me in a conversation that was meant for the healing of my soul… the Gospel. Good News. Hope. Salvation. Repentance. Grace. Truth. Jesus loves me and loves me no matter how much I read the Bible, pray, write, clean my room, act in selflessness, etc… He loves me and is well pleased with me – and even though that is what the still small voice has been whispering to me for weeks now (literally – and I have ignored it and disregarded it every time because I didn’t think that’s what He would say to me), I didn’t believe it until now. He is well pleased with me. And I can hope in that.

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