For years, I’ve been saying that I’m a sinner. But I don’t think people have really believed me. When I say that, I’m not giving you a half-smile and a wink. It’s not a necessary pretense. No, I need the new nature that Christ has given me, the Holy Spirit forming me into his image. I need the resurrection work of God, because I am just as apt to fall to temptation as anyone else.
And I often do.
To be clear, I want to please God. I want to love more. I want to forgive more. I want to think more of you than I do of myself. But you could find out my secrets tomorrow. Not the socially acceptable stuff, either. My closet of skeletons could break open under the weight of my sin and spill out for all to see. And, if that happens (and it could happen to any of us) I want to remind you that I told you so.
I don’t say that as some kind of excuse. I’m ashamed of my mistakes. I say it because I’m irrelevant.
I don’t tell you God loves me because I’m hiding something. I don’t tell you God loves me as an excuse to hide my sin. I tell you God loves me in spite of knowing the depths of my sin. Because I know it’s true. Because, without the truth that while we were still dead in our sin, Jesus died for us, I’d either be trying to convince myself that I’m not as in need of forgiveness as I am or a cowering, devastated mess. I tell you because God loves you too.
In spite of ourselves, we’re loved. Imperfect messengers are all there are, and imperfect messengers don’t lessen the truth of the message. Not when the message is that we are weak, imperfect messengers loved by a kind, gracious God.