February 1, 2010
Being a Christian forces a person to do the one thing that humans tend to avoid at almost any cost–self-examine.
When reading about the lives of believers in the Bible, I suddenly came to realize I wasn’t often like the people of God. No, more often, my actions resembled that of the non-believers. I am not often obedient. I take immense pride in my accomplishments, and I am rarely grateful. I am verbally abusive to those I don’t understand, and the illogical scares me to death. That’s right…I was kind of a Pharisee.
Unfortunately, I am not naturally a very nice, gracious, meek or kind human. I have much farther to travel on the road to refinement than some of those I am surrounded by. By nature, I am calloused, self-serving, pretentious, vain, and a whole slew of other, unflattering adjectives.
Fortunately, I have spent the majority of my life surrounded by people who look past all of those horrifying flaws in my character to see some sort of potential in me.
Most amazingly of all, God also sees past all the garbage. You see, not only does God anticipate my imperfections, He makes a promise to walk me through them. And, He promises to bring me out more refined (even if by fire) on the other side.
I was baptized this morning, and during the sermon that followed, I was once again transformed by a message from the words of Jesus as recorded in Matthew. “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Did you catch it? The promise? The promise that He will make me into something I am not. Something better, more compassionate, more refined, more loving…Ultimately, more useful.
And that’s really the point. I never thought God would have much use for me. I was really sure I’d messed up too much and simply gotten too far from His plan…Well, that is partially true. I wasn’t much use in the shape I was in. My pride, my absolute conviction that I knew all, and my incessant complaining certainly hindered the process.
But the great news is that I can’t mess that up either. God doesn’t want me to stay as messy as I was, but He promises that He will help me. More than that, He promises to make me into something new. Something useful to the kingdom of God!
I say, bring it on!
I’m ready. I’m willing, and I’m waiting.
I feel like I have been taking baby steps toward Him for years (and at times giant leaps backward) but now, I feel like I literally plunged into the deep end. And I guess I truly did.
I am not caring, giving, gracious, compassionate or merciful. But God is, and I want to be. He promised to make me a new creation, to remake me into His image. And that is what I want most of all, so…here we go.