Weak. Ungodly. Sinner.
That’s exactly what I once was. (And sometimes still am.) But thankfully, God had a different plan for me. He wasn’t accepting of those labels which I and other people put on me.
Paul writes in his letter to the Romans,
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6-8, ESV)
When I look back at the man I once was, I can honestly tell you that I probably wasn’t worth it. I’ve done some horrible, disrespectful, selfish, nasty things in my life. Yet, God looked at me, and saw something of value. Before I was ever born, He made sure that He had a plan for me. So He comes to us in the form of a man and sacrifices Himself on the cross.
Few things drive me to prostrate myself face-down on the floor like the realization of God’s unconditional love, despite how unworthy I may feel of that Love.
Fortunately for me, someone looked at me the same way God looks at me. They saw the value that most others didn’t see, including myself. That person invested in me because they believed that I was worth it.
So that’s how I chose to look at others.
I get sad (and somewhat angry) when I see the Church passing judgement, and being overly concerned with being right. We become quick to label people as weak, ungodly, and sinners. We devalue them with those labels. And then turn around and say that we love the sinner, but not their sin. But is it love when we force them to wear those labels, and demand that they change before we truly accept them?
Or does Love look more like unconditional acceptance. Maybe it means that we look past the sin and say something like, “I don’t care who you are, or what you’ve done. I believe in you, and think you have immeasurable value!”
“…while we were still sinners…”
If God is willing to overlook all of the reasons why I shouldn’t be with Him in the Kingdom, shouldn’t we set aside our judgement of others and their lifestyles? Isn’t that why Christ died on the Cross? For every one of us who is weak, ungodly, and a sinner?
Lord, on behalf of all of us not-good-enoughs, us not-worthy-enoughs, thank you for making a way. Amen.
love this, Dan. powerfully put.
Thanks Kelli! Just trying to be real…
This is a good reflection, Dan. Grateful for the way.
Thanks Seth! I’m SO grateful for the way. I’m kinda having a tough time today, on Good Friday, thinking about what He did, scratch that… what He took for me. For all of us.
But unlike folks who touched and saw and supped with Jesus and then lost Him, we know how the story ends. Their complete and utter desolate loss at the foot of the crucifixion cross is understandable… but our feeling of such swaps out for hope in glory.
And in that Truth, I pray you have a good day today.
You are SO right Darlene! And I very much look forward to Sunday in all of this! I have a tough time with this more because I remember how unworthy I was (or am). I know how much I’ve been forgiven, and it’s not something I take lightly. And it’s my Good Friday perspective that makes Sunday SO special!
Blessings to you too!
Amen, brother. Yea, and amen. Thank you.
Thank you Diana!
Indeed! Yes, indeed.
Thanks Darlene… I figured you would relate to this one. Blessings to you too!
It all goes back to love doesn’t it? And Jesus is our example. I use that word prostrate in my weekend post. I think this day is hard for all of us who realize the gravity of the sacrifice. It’s weighty today and then there is Sunday. Can’t wait to get there.
I can’t wait to get there either! And I think when we really get THIS and how big Friday really was, then Sunday we can really understand how special Sunday really is. And yes… Love. That’s how we show this to a weak, ungodly, and sinful world around us.
One thing I’ve come to know. At 17, I needed Him. Went prodigal. At 30, needed Him again. I’m nearly 32, and I can still honestly say I really need Jesus. What blows my mind is His faithfulness. Unmatched and true.
Amen! Amen! Amen! Truth. Wow, this seems to be the theme for this week with so many bloggers. I am so thankful to you and the others taking a stand. A return to Christ’s call for love. I pray this continues. I pray this spreads… Thank you for sharing. Fist bump. lol I posted on labels too. God is moving!