“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”Mark 2:17 (ESV)
If there is one thing that should distinguish the Christian church, it should be an open admission of our need for a Savior. We are the people that know that we are sick and in need of healing.
Therefore, the church is the one place where it should be acceptable to admit that you don’t live up to your own standard. The church should be the one place where we openly acknowledge that we don’t have everything together. The church is the one place where we should be able to admit that we don’t measure up.
Our shortcomings are painfully obvious to everyone around us, so there is really no downside to making the admission.
Yet, so much of my church life has been one of inherent dishonesty both on my part and the part of those around me.
To corroborate this, just ask yourself what you normally say or hear when the question “how are you?” is asked.
The standard answer is “great” or “fine” or the very spiritual-sounding answer, “I’m doing better than I deserve” or even, “great by the grace of God.”
There is nothing wrong with these responses if that is really the case. But on an average Sunday, I suspect that not everyone in the congregation is doing “fine” or “great.” Some just had an argument with their spouse on the way to church. Some just yelled at their kids for one reason or another. Some have had trouble at work. Some have had difficulty with aging parents. Some have trauma from difficult parents. The list of problematic things in a fallen world is endless.
I’m not saying that we need to tell everyone every problem we’ve had (they have enough of their own), but we do need to be honest that sometimes life gets us down and we need people around us to pick us up.
Also, we need to be honest that we don’t respond well in every difficult situation. We mess up. We hurt people. We say the wrong thing. The list of ways we fail is also endless.
But we need to be people who, like Jesus, are full of grace and truth. We need to give and receive grace for failures while being honest about them.
So, if you are a sinner, welcome to the club. If you feel that you fail more than succeed, welcome to the club. If you know that you don’t have your act together, welcome to the club.
Jesus accepts you and so should we.
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