Monday, April 19, 2010


Feeling pathetic about yourself doesn't make you a better Christian. Though popular thinking might support that. For most of my life I thought that guilt and shame were just a normal part of a Christian existence. In fact, I even convinced myself that when I felt that way, it was because I was repentant over my sin, but that's not the truth. What started as repentance quickly became wallowing in self pity. Which isn't pretty from any angle.

The truth is, the root of my self-depricating behavior was not my grief over my sin, but my lack of faith and my pride. The truth is, it's easy for me to believe in the grace of God when I don't need it. As soon as I sin, especially a sin that I judge as "big" or "dirty" or "extra bad", I doubt whether God really forgives me right away. Which is pathetic and the reason I do it, even more pathetic. The reason I do it isn't because I'm so broken over my sin. The real reason I do it, is because most days, no matter how many times I read "it is by grace you have been saved through faith, so no man can boast (eph 2:8)" I still believe in the way I respond, that God is keeping a record of my rights and wrongs. I still believe, in that moment that I'm not measuring up. And then, instead of turning to Christ and accepting his Grace. I sit, in self pity, because I've failed again to redeem myself in my actions. I feel that way because I still, some days, don't want to admit that I need a Savior. I still believe I should have some part or role in my own salvation, even though I don't.

If whatever you are feeling after you sin, doesn't cause you to worship and seek Christ, it isn't repentance. It's guilt, self-pity, or shame, no matter what you name it, it's your pride. True repentance produces worship. True repentance puts God in His proper place and you in yours. True repentance is the first step in healing, not wallowing.

When it comes down to it, my true theology is what I practice; not what I claim to believe or even what I've memorized and theorized about. When my reactions and emotions do not match up with what I know or believe to be true, it must begin the process in me again. It must take me back to Christ and to a process of self-evaluation, so that what I believe can match what I practice.

Lord, help me not to be pathetic.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. typo in the first one -
    funny, i didn't see her picture and think about you using it to represent "pathetic". I saw it and thought about how much this little girl needs a friend like you - someone who won't feel sorry for her, who won't make excuses for her, and will tell her the truth - not because you're superior but because you get that we are all pathetic and you don't tolerate or want that indulgence in your own life.