Are you dissatisfied with yourself? I certainly am! Today, I read a newsletter from an ex-gay who works with people having various forms of sexual dysfunction. He wrote:
- Why is it that we are more easily moved to anger rather than tears over the state of things in this world? Why is it that we can quickly, in a nanosecond, go to mad – instead of sad?
He then contrasted this moral failure with Jesus who wept over the very Jerusalem which was about to crucify him.
I grieve that I do little weeping for the plight of others. I wish I did more – far more. I wish that I ached about their eternal destiny. Instead, I slide into anger with the ease of a mad dog barking, while compassion is a fleeting as a cool breeze under the July Mississippi sun.
This makes me feel very inadequate, but I should feel this way. This is because I am inadequate and unworthy of anything from above. However, few realize their inadequacy. Oddly, it was a Roman commander who understood his inadequacy better than anyone else! He had asked Jesus to heal his servant, but then told Him that he was unworthy that Jesus should even enter into his home. Instead, he wisely suggested that Jesus only needs to speak the word and his servant would be healed. The commander explained that he only needs to speak the word to his subordinates and things get done. The commander reasoned that if he – a mere man - had such authority, Jesus had even more to heal. Consequently:
- When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.” (Matthew 8:10)
I feel bad about my many personal failures, but Jesus reminds me that we are all inadequate – all unworthy of anything from Him. He also reminds me that this inadequacy doesn’t really matter, because He is our Savior. He even claims that when we realize our utter need and unworthiness, this becomes a source of great blessing:
- "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:3-5)
Therefore, I need not punish myself for my moral failures. He has paid the price for all of them:
- God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor. 5:21)
This doesn’t mean that we should be complacent or cavalier about our lack of love and compassion. We mourn over it and cry out for our Savior’s help, but we rejoice that it’s now all about Him, not us:
- I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
We also trust that He will compensate for our moral poverty:
- If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:31-32)
This understanding should free us up to turn our eyes away from the depressing sight of who we really are and to re-focus our red eyes on Him alone! What a relief!