I have been thinking about some big words lately … words like redemption, and freedom, and community, and sanctification. And love, and sin. I could define them for you, and I think I’d probably do an OK job. (Words are my business, after all.) But when it comes down to reality, to life, I’m not always sure what they really mean.
I’ve only been a Christian for six years (just passed my anniversary this week — yes, I am the kind of person who keeps track of such things). But in my limited experience, it seems that the older I get, the more sinful I realize myself to be.
I don’t know whether that means I am more sinful than I was in college or if I’m just more realistic and honest. I tend to think it’s the latter, but it could be both, I don’t know. But it seems to be happening all around me — with my friends, with people I don’t really keep in touch with, with my co-workers.
Sometimes I’ll see someone else’s sin and recoil. I wonder how they could do that, and what’s gone wrong that led them to this point. I wonder how their walk with God is.
And then I look at my own life and realize how completely hypocritical I am.
I guess I always thought I was doing pretty well because so many of my pet sins are socially acceptable. I’m a workaholic in the making — many people would probably see that as an admirable thing. 😉 I’m a bit vain and totally self-centered. (I wish I weren’t self-centered.) But I don’t drink too much, I don’t steal, I don’t murder, I don’t sleep around, and somehow I think this makes me better.
One thing I love about my church (both here and in Birmingham) is that I’m repeatedly reminded of how fallen I am. I always have to laugh that the moment of silent confession is so short, because I have so, so much to confess.
But I am also reminded of Jesus’ grace.
We sang “Come Thou Fount” in church this morning, and it’s one of those that always gets me a little emotional. This verse is my favorite, and only increasingly so with each passing year.
Oh to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander, Lord I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above