Paul says two very important things in the Bible that give me great hope. The first is 1 Timothy 1:15 – Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. The second is Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
I’m glad that Paul thinks he is the worst sinner, because that means I’m only 2nd worst. Unless the fact that he’s dead means I’ve moved into 1st place. Hmmm…
And secondly, I love that Christ died for me while I was still a sinner to demonstrate his unconditional love for me. Then when I mess up I don’t have to beat myself up, but I can ask forgiveness and move on.
Which brings up the point of why is it so hard to forgive myself? If one of you, any of you, came to me and told me that you acted a bit selfishly yesterday, I would hug you and encourage you and tell you that it’s okay and you are forgiven.
But when I act selfishly, even if it’s only in my head, I nag myself silly for quite some time, refusing to give myself any grace at all. Then when I’ve gone a few days without sleep and I’ve eaten several things I shouldn’t (which is another why: why can’t I be one of those people who doesn’t eat when I’m stressed instead of one of those people who eats too much???), I finally allow myself a small smidgen of grace and move on.
My friend just wrote a great post on how she doesn’t believe “God childlishly goes about punishing us always when we do wrong and rewarding only when we do right.” And that “sometimes when we are at our worst God will give us the most beautiful gift – not as a reward for being bad, but as a reminder of what good is.”
Which is what I feel like right at this minute: a sleeping beauty on my shoulder, a mom busy cleaning my house for me, a MM who is working hard to provide for me. These are blessings and rewards and reminders that God is good all the time and He loves me all the time.
So yes I’m selfish and yes God still loves me. Best news ever.