Last night a dear sister and I were up till the wee hours discussing the ways we'd seen God work in our lives. Much of the conversation we spent discussing our testimonies--where we had been headed, and how radically God had changed our direction. The thing that really grabbed me was that while our struggles were in totally different areas, the progression was the same. Distance from God. Friends that were not interested in the spiritual. Obsession with the world. Addiction. A path to destruction.
Both of us reached the point where we, with eyes wide open, had to choose between the world and God. I say our eyes were "wide open" because it wasn't a slow, meandering almost unconscious drift into worldliness. It was a moment of deliberate decision, a moment we hung in the balance, and we were aware that the decision made in that moment would define the rest of our lives.
Then entered the Grace of God. Then entered His forgiveness, his mercy, his love. And the decision was made.
As a good church girl it can be very difficult for me to take off the masks I've worn all my life when I brush with the world. Few people know my testimony, and I think that's true of a lot of church goers. Simply put, sinners are a dirty mess, and that means that telling people how God changed us can be dirty. It's just easier to not even go there.
But maybe the world needs us to go there.
Maybe the world doesn't need a cleaned up Christian, but a filthy, dirty sinner saved by grace. Maybe the world needs to see that under that polished exterior and neatly lined up set of convictions we are the same as them--except for the blood of Christ.
And maybe, just maybe, the church needs us to go there too.
Maybe the church needs to remember it's made out of the same stuff the world is. Maybe the church needs to remember that it's okay to be a sinner saved by grace--a real sinner, a filthy dirty sinner. That it is good and right to glorify God through Christ for having saved us from our own wicked selves.
I'm glad I stayed up till the wee hours last night. It is good to remember where we came from. It is good to look at the depths of human sinfulness, and to realize--not just in the head but in the heart--that...
There, but for the Grace of God, go I.