you ARE a sinner.

Recently, I've been going through hell with people in my life. Not my, they're great. With people who think that "because I know you I understand you and I'm therefore entitled to give you my opinion on everything."

I've been on this since my DTS. If I tell you something - that doesn't make us close. It doesn't make us friends. My story is a story of redemption everyday - my story isn't a secret - but my story, especially the past, doesn't define who I am at this very moment. It adds to who I am, but it isn't completely who I am.

So if you know about my mother's murder and that I grew up in a dysfunctional home that doesn't mean that you understand me or that you're my friend. It means that you know a fact about my life.

I am a sinner.
I use profanity sometimes, I've disrespected my parents, I've had sex. I'm a sinner any way you swing it...but so are you! I gave my life to Jesus six years ago, and Jesus whom I love has forgiven me and redeemed me, but He is still working on me and perfecting His work in me...but until that day of completion comes, I am still going to screw up. But, so are you.

Yesterday someone was preaching at me when they said, "The Bible would have you to do this..." and began to preach to me things they've never even been close to dealing with to which I responded, "I know what the Bible says, I could repeat everything you just said back to me, but do you obey the Bible 100% everyday?" 


"I mean..I try to. I try t-"
"Do you obey it 100% everyday, yes or no?"
"I try to walk by the Spi-"
"Yes or no?"
"Probably not."

Excuse me? Probably not? 

Oh...are you not a sinner anymore?
Thiiiiiiis, even as a Christian, drives me up the effing wall. Oh you're good to go now? This is not the truth which is what drives me insane. If I wasn't a Christian, the LAST  thing that would win me over would be a lifestyle of perfection. Perfection creates fear in us, why? It tells you that honesty isn't allowed. Go ahead, have your struggle, but keep it a secret because if you do tell someone you're going to be judged.

When I hear people talk about sin in their lives, I hear it one way, "Oh yeah, I used to struggle with that."

Wait...what?! Why didn't we know when you were struggling? Why is it always after? Perfection keeps us isolated. And because there's perfection and people who honestly think that they aren't sinners anymore there's a lack of discipleship. 

If you sin, if you step your toe outside the line, if you let someone know that things aren't perfect, well..."we love you, but" we're not going to have anything to do with you now and we sure as hell aren't going to help you, mentor you, or be there when you stumble again. You're on your own.

That's the message you want to send? The answer is no. But the actions always say yes.

Last year in London, I met a couple - not Christians, they had called the church we were doing ministry with and asked for help. They were unmarried, they had no electricity, they had no food, the boyfriend had just lost his job, and they were 8 months pregnant. I was so blessed by them in the weeks we were able to be involved with them and watch how Christ changed their lives in the two months we were there (and now, too!). But what broke my heart was that we were the 10th church they had called because the 9 before said they only helped their members.

That makes me sick to my stomach.
That's disgusting.
but that's what we preach...we only help those who look like us. 

We're uncomfortable with differences.
Whether racial (that's a whole other blog), whether economical, sinful, physical or mental...we're uncomfortable when God doesn't look how we want Him to.

I refuse to be apart of that.

As I look into the word of God, I see a lot of sin. And then I see it overcome with forgiveness and redemption. There is only one story of perfection, that's Jesus himself. 

I'm so thankful for who God is. I'm so thankful for his mercy and grace each and every day, for His blood that washes over me - He is the only one who can forgive my sins and give me freedom in my repentance. The only one. So I'll rest in that. I'll hope in the true God who is refining me and redeeming me and saying to me when I fail, "Next time." God is not done with me, He isn't fed up with me, but if He's not working things out in a timely manner seen fit by others then I suggest shunning me and my sinfulness.

The more we look to Christ, the more we look like Christ. (2 Cor. 3:16-18)