Embracing the Mess
by Laura Wilde
When I thought about writing for this blog, I wrestled a lot with whether or not I was actually qualified to do the job. If you’re curious, I go into more detail about the grueling mental process on my personal blog here, but at the end of it all, I realized that it’s not about my qualifications. It’s not about what I’ve done or have the ability to do…or what I’ve failed to do. It’s not about me, period.
It’s about the God who—although completely self-existent, completely omnipotent, completely sovereign and therefore needs nothing from humanity—still desires to have a personal relationship with us. It’s about the God who, from the beginning of the Old Testament, put into motion a plan that was ultimately fulfilled in Christ to provide freedom from sin’s dominion and the eternal punishment of those sins for whoever believes, demonstrating His deep love for us while never compromising justice.
We know the gospel to be paramount in our salvation, but how often do we leave the gospel behind after that moment of deliverance and trade it for a performance-based faith? Even though it is by God’s grace through faith alone that we are saved, how often do we still try to prove ourselves and earn God’s favor, whether consciously or subconsciously? How often do we think we should be doing better or that we should be doing more, and if we don’t meet those self-imposed standards, that somehow makes us unfit to be loved by God?
These past couple of months, God has humbled me by forcing me to face the fact that, even though I can rest in the comfort and the joy of what Christ has done for me and know that my salvation is secure, I am never, ever without need for the message of the gospel. Sin no longer reigns over us when we are born-again believers, but that does not mean that we no longer wrestle with it, and acknowledging the sins of my indwelling pride and insecurities have made that painfully clear. I need to be reminded of the gospel daily so that I don’t fall into the trap of relying upon my own strengths and forgetting the One who brought me to my knees in the first place.
And because of that, I’ve realized that I don’t want to be that carefully groomed, put-together person. When we omit certain truths about ourselves for fear of how others will perceive us, we short-change each other. In some cases, it may only perpetuate the false idea of performance-based faith. If we present ourselves as having our lives in order, what does that really gain us? Are we not robbing ourselves and others of the chance to be real about our struggles and our sin? More importantly, are we not robbing God of His glory by failing to recognize the work that He’s doing in us through our imperfections? This doesn’t mean we need to share our story with everyone we cross paths with, but to simply open ourselves as the Spirit leads us; to be true to the person who God created us to be in Christ in all circumstances.
May it continually be at the forefront of our minds that God’s grace alone carries us.