You cannot tell it by looking at me. You might not know it to talk to me. But if you could spend an extended period of time with me you might start to get the idea. Spend a day inside my head and you would be certain of it. I am a 100% verifiable mess.
As proof I offer these open-ended statements: I say the wrong thing frequently. I don’t take things seriously enough. I lust. I feel greed. I don’t really care for most people. I tend to avoid conflict even when needed. I keep my mouth shut. I shoot off my mouth and embarrass myself. My thoughts are not always Godly. I occasionally let a “bad word” slip. My prayers are too short. My understanding is too limited. I know I could do better, but many times I just don’t do it. I really wish I was a better person.
Do you ever feel the same way? One thing I have learned from doing counseling is that most people feel like they are a mess too. They are not proud of all their thoughts and actions.
The good news for believers is that we believe in a God of second chances. The title of my blog is a foundational statement for me. I believe in a God who shows us new mercies every morning. I believe the Church is a place for people to preach and to hear of our gracious God. I want to be a pastor of second chances.
But the good news is more than just that basic truth. The good news is that we do not have to remain the same. We can be transformed in our thinking and our way of living. You see, while I openly admit that my life is not all that I might hope it to be, I also know that I am not what I once was. God has taken my life and been slowly transforming me into a new person. I often think that the transformation would go better if I did less fighting against His work. But still God continues to mold me and shape me. He continues to teach me and transform me. My mess is getting smaller as he continues to clean me up.
Some days I just have to thank God simply for his grace and mercy. Other days I need to be remind of the transformation He is bringing about in my life. Maybe a true measure of faith is not just where we are now but how far we have come.