Home > Miscellaneous > Another Way To Destroy Your Relationship With God

Another Way To Destroy Your Relationship With God

Please read the addendum to the previous post.

As I was writing my last post on whoredom, I was thinking about a way that we keep ourselves from God by acting in a way that often feels like it’s right and just and what God would want. A friend who commented on my whore post cleanly summed it up, “I feel dirty.” It is true that we have earned death with our sin and that our sin has made us dirty and contemptible. This is not a bad place to be, but it is a horrible place to stay. Merry Christmas! The Messiah is here!

Jesus has come. This changes our very reality. Jesus has come to save us from our sins. Jesus has come to take away the sin of the world. Jesus has come to reunite us with our God by becoming sin on our behalf in so doing justifying us and through forgiveness, freeing us from the consequence of separation caused by our lustful betrayal. Jesus has come to purify us from all unrighteousness. Jesus has come to redeem our lost innocence, purity, and intimacy, bringing us back to the days when we walked hand in hand with God and returned His love in a world marked by the unadulturated goodness of God’s Kingdom.* Its freaking good news.

So, although you don’t deserve it you whore, forgiveness, purity, redemption, love, intimacy, innocence, unity, oneness, freedom, trust, and a new life have been offered to you. All of these things are at our fingertips. God, through Jesus, has offered them to us. God has found us in our infidelity and wrapped us in his loving arms, asking us only to also wrap our arms around him. It seems like a no-brainer to accept these. Or, at least, decide that we don’t want to be faithful to God because He’s not our type, and live as unfaithfully as we can because we don’t think the relationship is worth it. Accepting or a flat out oppositional rejection both make sense. But people often do a third thing.

People often, after realizing the depth of their sin and its destructiveness and their disgusting lifestyles and how horrifying their infidelity is, respond with shame and sit in shame and live in shame. They go around feeling dirty all the time. Dirtiness is their reality. They talk to God about how dirty they are and ashamed they are and sinful they are. They talk to others about their sin and about how bad they feel about it. They understand the horror of their sin, which is awesome, but they stop there. They try to comply with the rules that they believe God wants them to follow as they feel ashamed of themselves.

You know what happens? Usually, they just sin more. People that feel ashamed and dirty rarely truly feel like it has much significance to do something shameful and dirty. If your hands are covered in poop, you’re not going to be very concerned about touching a pile of dirt. Then, they feel more ashamed and they go back to trying to make up for their terrible actions by complying with rules they think God has. They become unintentional Law abiders, defined completely by whether or not they obey the live according to God’s regulations.

You know what doesn’t happen? Intimacy with God. It’s really difficult to be intimate with someone when you’re trying to redeem yourself by following rules that can’t bring about redemption. It’s really difficult to be intimate with someone when you’re trying to earn their love when what you have earned their hate. It’s really difficult to be intimate with someone when you’re trying to deserve their forgiveness for something you can never deserve forgiveness for. You can’t be intimate with someone you are ashamed to embrace.

They also get a host of terrible advice. Here’s a small paraphrased sampling: “You’re a really good person and are awesome to be around, you don’t have to be ashamed.” “You have to learn to love yourself.” “Everyone struggles with that, you’re fine.” “If you just were more obedient to God’s rules, you wouldn’t feel so bad about yourself.” “You need to learn to forgive yourself.” You can keep saying these things, but they don’t help. I’m all for encouragement, but those who will not accept what God has offered them need to know the following.

They are sitting in their shame because of their arrogance. Here’s an enlightening what if scenario about a familiar story. In John 8 Jesus keeps a woman from being stoned who was caught committing adultery and says that he doesn’t condemn her, telling her to go and live more faithfully. What if she would have walked away and started throwing rocks in the air and running underneath them as they fell so she was hit by her own stones? Her self-condemnation would not be admirable or pious, it would be foolish and arrogant. If Jesus does not condemn her, who is she to condemn herself? How incredibly proud would she have to be to stone herself when she thought she deserved it! She would be trying to get what she deserved instead of accepting the freedom through forgiveness that Jesus offered.

This is what people do when they live ashamed of their sin. They have made the decision that they will not accept the free gift that God offers and instead will try to deserve it or will live forever knowing they are unworthy, thinking that knowledge of unworthiness and not accepting undeserved forgiveness is somehow admirable or pious. The reason there is no intimacy in living ashamed of one’s own sin is because to live in shame is to reject God’s forgiveness, redemption, new life, and reconciliation into intimacy. While there are always a million other issues that play into it, at the core, it is always only hubris that keeps one, who knows they need God’s grace, from accepting His undeserved gift.

Humble yourself before the Lord and He will lift you up. If you are not lifted, you are mistaking shame and condemnation for humility. Life that is truly life is at your fingertips if you would simply let go of your arrogance and accept what God offers. You don’t have to live in shame any longer. You don’t have to distance yourself from God. You don’t have to engage in self destructive behavior anymore. You don’t have to punish yourself, condemn yourself, ridicule yourself, or hate yourself. You don’t have to feel dirty anymore.

“You are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Merry F-ing Christmas!

 

*All of these concepts deserve books. But, as you know, sloth and apathy are the other lovers I am prone to embrace. I embrace them now by not writing multiple books.

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