By Jeremy GriffinTwenty three years ago, when I was a teenager I was new to Christianity and church. I remember sitting in a congregation of about thirty five people listening to the preacher struggling to hear him. Not "hear" him, that was no issue since he was a screamer, but really hear him. While sitting there that morning I thought about the Lord and had a moment of clarity, or maybe revelation. So simple but we so often forget the simple things. I turned to the back of my Bible (I still have it) and wrote these words, "Trust in God not man because man will always fail you."
Several years later I entered into full time ministry as a Worship Pastor or, as some have come to know me, the music guy. I had an amazing time and for the next 15 years I served the Lord in that capacity. In that time, many men and women of God succeeded in living up to the standard of imperfect and I silently judged them for it. They should have done this, or that better. My expectations were drastically out of whack.
The truth is, though my mind had an expectation of imperfect beings my heart had a different one. It had an unfair and unreasonable expectation of perfection. It ultimately extended from my own self righteousness and delusion that though mildly flawed I was probably pretty close to perfect. Now, saying that out loud would never happen and really thinking it was off limits too but actions speak louder than words and boy did my actions reflect my heart.
As the adage goes, "Pride cometh before a fall." and it did. I fell. I never rejected my faith or anything but falling due to pride opened up a slew of wounds from childhood on and dealing with them with the same mind that had been judging others was more then I could bare. Things changed in me. I still judged, but I became the target. I began to devalue myself based on expectations of perfection and the reality that I was far from perfect. Somehow I honestly believed I could pull it off...perfection. I knew Jesus would always be the only perfect man but thought I could come close by following rules and keeping right. With each failure I fell deeper into the pit of self loathing.
I'm learning that what I wrote so many years ago, "Man will always fail you..." was written for me today. I'm learning that failure is nothing more than an inevitability and continued proof of Gods love and grace. It's not that I've resigned to failure or that I don't want to live a faultless life, it's that I don't care about it anymore. I really only want to commune with Jesus. Jesus is my ticket to perfection! He took away my sin. My efforts were so futile. The ONLY path to righteousness is thru Jesus to the Father. I know, we all know this but do we honestly live it? I know I'm still learning it and constantly rediscovering the love of God in my own life every day.
Remember this... God is constant and never fails but man fails constantly. So armed with this do two things. First, forgive others and second forgive yourself and begin to really love.
If you want to join in to a dialogue about forgiveness, grace, God's love or anything, just comment below. Let's walk thru this as a community of believers loving each other without condition or expectation.