I try hard to be a disciplined and healthy individual… But I often fall short of even my own goals.
I try to work out at least 2x a week. But even then, I look for every excuse to skip the gym (especially leg day, you know what I’m saying?). I like waking up at 5am so that I can have a few hours to myself before everyone wakes up. But I often find myself snoozing till 6:30a. I try to observe a low carb, low sugar diet, but last night I had a Nerds Rope, 3 miniature Baby Ruth bars, and a handful of tortilla chips. I’ve set goals to limit my coffee intake and increase my water intake. But on average I drink 3-5 cups of coffee and maybe 2 cups of water… If I’m lucky.
I have in my mind that I’m not the kind of person that drives my gas tank until it’s on “E”, but I rolled into the station on “E” this morning. My wife and I say all the time, “We are only gonna eat at home this week…" And then lunch time rolls around and we find ourselves sitting at the local Chinese restaurant once again enjoying a buffet with mounds of Lo-Mein and Spicy pork (not really a low carb meal!).
I can try really, really hard to be healthy and disciplined. But I admit, I fail more often than not
In much the same way, I try hard to be a holy follower of Jesus. I want to be someone who has their life together and doesn’t fall into to sin. But as hard as I try, I know that the anger still creeps in when my patience is wearing thin. I know that when I’m scrolling through Instagram or Facebook that inappropriate images or posts will grab my attention or entice me to linger longer than I should. I know that I shouldn’t be envious or jealous of other people’s success, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t look at other people and say “I wish I had that talent, money, or success.”
The reality is, as good as we might try to be, we will still fall short of perfection. I can barely reach my own personal and professional goals, let alone my spiritual goals. And if I can’t live my diet, routine, and overall health lifestyle to perfection, why in the world would I ever think that I could be perfect spiritually?
Yet, so many of us, knowing that we can’t even reach a simple goal like waking up at 5am every morning, look at our lives as followers of Jesus and say, “I got this. I’m doing okay. I don’t need to change. There are no areas of sin that I need to cut out.”
That mindset, however, is immediately confronted when the Apostle Paul writes, “ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” In other words, everyone has sin in their lives. Even the best of us. And the devil’s greatest lie is, “You’re not that bad. You’re doing great.” Because, if Satan can convince us that we are “doing okay,” then that means the death of Jesus on the cross won’t impact us the way it should.
However, if we can recognize our sin... If we can name our sin and acknowledge that we aren’t perfect… If we can admit that we need a savior who can actually remove the stain of sin from our lives, then the power of the cross becomes paramount in our lives. We realize that it is only through the sacrifice of Jesus that we can experience freedom from our sin. It’s only by His blood that we are washed and we are cleansed from failure.
But we have to admit our sin first. Because if we aren’t sinful, then Jesus died for nothing. So you have a decision to make: Will you believe Satan when he whispers, “You’re okay. Keep doing you. Be happy.” OR will you believe the God who says, “All have sinned… But I’m giving you a way out in Jesus.”
The essence of the Gospel is that Jesus came to defeat evil and rescue sinners… So, if you’re not a sinner, then His sacrifice on the cross was kind of pointless. But if you are a sinner, then your life has changed forever. Because the greatest news in all of history is that on the cross your sin was forgiven and you are now found to be whole and good before God.
Admit it... You're a sinner. But God loves you anyway and shows His love for us because while you were still a sinner, Christ died for you.