In an incredible oversimplication, I am going to make a statement, “There are two types of nonchristians.” They are:
1. Those that believe that christians are really screwed up. They are wrong.
2. Those that believe that christians are perfect people. They are wrong.
They are both wrong, but they can not both be right. (This sounds a little like “who is on first” if you know that joke).
Ok. First, those that believe Christians are really screwed up. Yes! Christians are so messed up, they realize that they need Jesus. That is the definition of a Christian: A sinner that seeks Jesus for forgiveness. I, myself, claim how messed up Christians are constantly in my writings. But these are the people that conclude: christianity is not true because Christians sin. They walk away from the church because they are a bunch of hypocrites or because their christian uncle was a real jerk or whatever. Well, the church is full of hypocrites and your uncle was a jerk but he was not Jesus either. Christians turn to Jesus for forgiveness and Jesus is perfect. Also, there are a lot of people that claim to be Christians that are not. Especially here in the Bible Belt. Being repetitive, yes, Christians mess up. That is why they need Jesus. But here is why they are wrong: Christians are forgiven. They are holy, righteous, and redeemed. The price has been paid and Jesus has wiped away all their guilt and shame.
So, the second group of people. They are wrong also. Those that believe that Christians are Christians because they are good people. They believe they are people that have their lives together and therefore they are Christians. Many of these people believe that Christians are people that do not cuss or drink. Those people don’t know what to do with me! But no, Christians are messed up, if they have anything together, then praise Jesus because he is at work in them!
Now, yes! I do believe that putting my hope in Jesus changes me. Like the Aposotle Paul said, it is not a ticket to keep sinning for the fun of it. However, Christians do sin! Christians do mess up! Anyone that thinks otherwise has never read (or understood) the Psalms. King David was an adulterer and murderer suffering from depression when he called out to God. And when you read the Psalms, you will see that this life, these emotions, are a continual cycle. This life is not an easy fix. David cries out to God in agony and questions (this is ok to do), but he realizes time and time again that God is worthy of his praise. (The verses are in bold.)
Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore. I can hardly stand to read the news because of all of the sickening crime. I have heard many people say they do not watch the news because it is too depressing. David’s desperate thoughts of those around him sound quite familiar.
How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? “Oh no! Hide these feelings!” It is not acceptable to be real and open and raw in many “Christian” circles. Yet, if we open our Bibles, these are the words we read.
My God, I cry out by day but you do not answer. Have you ever felt like this? I have.
But I will trust in your unfailing love. David has to speak with his head, sometimes not his heart, and remind himself of God’s promises.
I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me. Pray and worship. Sing to God. When you do not feel like it, DO IT.
I say to the Lord, “Apart from you I have no good thing.” Christians are messed up. They are just people that know that they sin and they realize their need for Jesus.
I love you, Lord, my strength. But, the big but, is that Christians are not messed up anymore. We are holy, righteous, redeemed. Like David, we still mess up now, but we have already been forgiven and we have already been set free and we have the Lord as our strength and our refuge and our present help. Lord, as King David confessed, I love you and I need you. Alone, I am messed up, but thank you that you are perfect and you are the only one that could forgive me and make me holy, righteous, and redeemed!