23 All have sinned and fall short of God’s glory, 24 but all are treated as righteous freely by his grace because of a ransom that was paid by Christ Jesus.
I’d like to believe that if we just try hard enough, if we have enough information, if we are diligent and mindful and thoughtful, we can get things right.
I’d like to believe that. I’m just not sure it’s true. Or possible.
I have plenty of information. I work hard. I try to be as thoughtful as I can be. But still I screw things up. I can’t help it; sometimes I hurt the people around me despite my best efforts. I can be careless and thoughtless. I get tired and hungry, grumpy or moody. I imagine you do the same.
There’s no cure for any of it. It’s called being human. Most of us don’t intend to sin. We don’t intend to hurt others. We just do. We all fall down. We all fall short.
It’s hard not to blame, shame or guilt ourselves when we realize we’ve made a mistake and messed something up. We want to be perfect. But we are not. We all need help. And that’s where Jesus comes in.
Only Christ was perfect. He was so perfect, in fact, that we say his perfection was enough for all of us. His righteousness is what saves, not ours – because we can never get it exactly right. We can get a lot right, but we’ll never get everything exactly right. Not all the time. We’ll always fall just a little short.
But you know what? That’s ok. Knowing, loving and trusting Jesus means that’s always ok. His perfection is enough.
By Joe Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer
When in the past week have you felt guilty or ashamed for having let someone down, or having made a mistake? Is it at possible that the thing you spent so much time being upset over was really just a result of being human – and not the horrible thing you’ve made it out to be in your mind? Can you imagine Christ forgiving you for it? What’s keeping you from forgiving yourself?
Prayer: When we want to shame or blame ourselves for having fallen short, remind us that we are only human – exactly what you created us to be. Remind us that in Christ, grace abounds. Remind us that we are forgiven and beloved. Amen.