Last week I drove home from a meeting and it suddenly hit me that I was just not measuring up.
Not as a mentor to the teen moms I work with.
Not as a leader in my business.
Not as a friend.
Not as a woman.
And most importantly, not as a wife or mother.
Every which way I turned I was bombarded with awful thoughts about what a failure I was in every aspect of my life.
Each time I tried to think of something positive I was reminded of yet another example of a time or place I had recently failed.
I’m not mentoring anyone specifically in YoungLives. I’m a failure.
I haven’t been working my business enough. I’m a failure.
I feel like none of my friends like me anymore. I’m a failure.
I’ve gained 5 pounds. I’m a failure.
I’m not paying enough attention to my husband. I’m a failure.
I’m not spending enough time with my kids. I’m a failure.
I sobbed the entire drive home. Then for another thirty minutes in the shower. And maybe another hour or two (especially after trying to watch Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors….#allthetears). After a glass of wine and venting to a good friend I was feeling a little bit better but still about 80% failure.
I had listened to our most recent sermon (Redemption Songs, pt. 2: The Benedictus) that day but hadn’t finished it, so the morning after my mini-breakdown I turned it on and the last 15 minutes took my breath away.
It was like our pastor was speaking right to all those fears and feelings of failure.
He said, “We may try to deny it through distraction or effort but we know deep down that we don’t measure up.”
Yes, how did you know?! I don’t measure up!
We know that something isn’t right. The bible says we feel that way because we are in fact sinners who have in fact betrayed God, so, yes, we are guilty. It’s true. We feel guilt and shame because we have broken our relationship with God. We are sinners by human nature. We can’t help it.
But there is good news…God has promised to deal with that sin. He has decided to freely forgive us. Through Jesus, God is coming to do what He promised to do–redeem us, be our forgiveness, bear the weight of our betrayal, bear our guilt before God.
As my pastor said, there is no amount of self help, positive thinking, or therapy that can deal with the problem of sin. And as I learned that night last week, there is no amount of tears, wine or venting to friends, either.
The only thing that can reconcile us to God is the finished work of Jesus.
This is what Christianity is about. And this is why I keep going back to Holy Cross PCA every week.
Every Sunday I hear the message that Jesus didn’t come to teach me how to get to God. Jesus came to GET ME to God. (So it’s okay to place my trust in Him).
Every Sunday I hear that it isn’t about better rules for me to keep, it’s about a better keeper of the rules. (Who is FOR ME).
If you trust in Christ then your sin has been removed for you.
So, DON’T TAKE IT BACK.
Rid yourself of the shame, the guilt, the failures.
Because Jesus is enough.
How refreshing! How freeing! To hear this good news for what felt like the first time.
To know that…
I am no longer defined by my failures. I am defined by Jesus’ successes.
I may be a sinner, but because of Jesus, I’m not a failure!