I am a young pastor. I am a flawed pastor. I am a still-wrestling-with-his-flesh pastor. But despite all that I have, at least for now, this role in the body of Christ. And it’s from that role that I wanted to offer a bit of comfort and admonition.
Ever been depressed because you thought you were a failure?
Ever replayed an argument over and over in your head, furious at yourself because you’re certain you sounded like a moron?
Ever play something out in your mind in the worst possible way, and then become scared, angry, or jealous based on that fictional image or circumstance?
And my word to you if you have been born again, put true saving faith in Jesus Christ, is this: Do not let your identity come from your place in the human scheme and system around us.
Whether you are truly a fool or only see yourself as one, truly a weakling or only fear that you’re one, truly an American failure or simply judge yourself wrongly, it doesn’t change the fact that Christ has called you. It doesn’t alter the fact that the Savior lives in you. Neither your real nor your imagined shortcomings can erase your name from God’s book. Play out that worst imagined scenario in your mind, right now. Go ahead. Now savor this: If you are truly Christ’s, then what you just imagined cannot separate you from the love of the Most High. The affections of Almighty God are set on you.
The laughable, moronic, seedpicking sinner named Paul whom God chose to shame the wise and win the world said this, after telling the Corinthians the humanity’s appraisal of one’s power or intelligence isn’t that important: “And because of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption.”
Because of Him, you are in Christ.
Throw open the doors for the losers. There’s a wedding feast in honor of the One who loves to make nothings new and turn sinners into saints.
I know what it’s like to hate yourself. I know the paralyzing, suffocating feel of that sin. So this doesn’t come from a perfect man. But it is coming from one who trusts the Bible.
Believe on the Lord Jesus, and then think about yourself in terms of who He is and what He has done.
Am I sinner? Brother, you’d better believe it.
Am I flawed? Ask anyone who’s spent more than 2 hours with me.
But are those the essence of who I am? Thankfully, because of the rugged, redefining grace of Jesus Christ, no.
I am now a child of God, righteous, redeemed, and constantly being sanctified. I am, through no doing of my own, being made something and being taken somewhere. My destiny and my identity have been set by hands better and more merciful than my own.
My pastoral word, first to myself and then for any who share my burden, is this: Drop the self-hatred and look to Christ.
Rest in the love of the One whose love most matters.
Look away from yourself for a minute, and look to Jesus.