Stop now. Go back. I don’t know how you got here, but I suggest clicking the little back arrow in your browser, and going back to where you came from. You see, I really shouldn’t be writing a blog. Especially one about God.
This isn’t insincere self-depreciation. I’m not just trying to ‘draw you in’ using the instinctive need we have to do exactly the opposite of what we’re told. I really, truly, and with all the earnestness of my being, believe that I shouldn’t write a blog.
Why? Because I am a fundamentally flawed human being. I am sarcastic and unkind. I’m unbelievably selfish, and use my religion to assuage my guilt. I could serve Jesus and love others, but 99.9% of the time, I choose only to serve myself. I am a coward and a hypocrite. My faith is constantly trolled by doubts. Not too long ago I was an agnostic, then an atheist. I grew up as the kind of fundamentalist Christian that most of you think gives other Christians a bad name, where we tacked our own special rules onto following Jesus, and believed that if you didn’t follow those rules, then you couldn’t really follow Jesus. Sincere seekers were turned into legalistic cynics before my eyes. I’ve hurt people in the name of Jesus, and felt good about it afterwards.
Are you sick yet? Because you should be. I think Jesus would be. I was part of our very own modern day ‘generation of vipers’, the very people that, had Jesus come in our modern day, probably would have wanted Him silenced, killed, even tortured. He wouldn’t have followed our rules, or associated with our crowd. He would have exposed our corruption, and we would have hated Him for it. Nothing hurts more than looking your shame in the face.
Are you done with me yet? I would be done with me.
But God isn’t.
So here I am. Writing a blog in the passenger seat of a Jeep, while the landscape of the Oakland hills blur by. I’m breathing in the exhaust of semi trucks, and as I type this all out on my phone (a practice I don’t recommend), my eye keeps being drawn to a new hole in my jeans, where I usually keep my keys in the right pocket. I should probably relegate these to the ‘painting/yard work jeans’ pile, but I won’t. At least not yet.
So despite my flaws, my fears, my scrapes, bruises, stains, and holes, I know that, like a favorite pair of jeans, God hasn’t given up on me, and though I honestly think He should have, it’s not my opinion that really counts.
That’s why I’m writing a blog. Because I shouldn’t. Because I can’t. Because anything good that comes from it can only be of God.
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
I Timothy 1:15-17 (ESV)