My actions behind closed doors in my past were brought into a discussion on Facebook today on a post about abortion I made last week. Originally this was my reply that I had typed out, but since it grew longer than a Facebook response should be I opted to simply post it here. So, to whom it may concern…
I will say that in the past I have participated in a lot of things I wish I hadn’t. I don’t remember anything being sent unsolicited. But, as a Christian I have participated in sexting, I am not a virgin, I have gotten drunk, I have lied about things, I have manipulated people, I have often worn a mask in hopes that what I was doing to try and fill myself and my own fear and loneliness wouldn’t be found out. Though I am not proud of these things. They have happened, and as such that are part of my story.
I am in every since of the word a broken and sinful man. To steal words from St Paul, I do see myself as the chief of sinners. I make no debate in defense of that. But I am someone who is trying to be better each day that passes. Though, I must again confess, I am not always the best at this.
And if any of us where honest, each person has things in their closet that they wish would stay there. Each person has a skeleton or two that they keep in their hidden away. And my attempts in the past to hook up with girls to fill a loneliness of a broken engagement is very much one of mine. So I guess it’s a skeleton that is out of the closet now. At least here on Facebook. The things brought up I have told to a few people before, people that are also Christians and believe that my doing so was wrong and in no way justifiable. They were right.
In writing this my mind goes to a story of Jesus that I love. There was a woman who was pulled out of bed while she was having sex with someone. These men that drug her out of bed, also drug her across town. They did so because Jesus was there in town. They threw this woman at Jesus feet and asked Him what should be done with her. By law she could be stoned to death. Jesus then bent down to write something in the dirt, what He wrote we don’t know. Then He said that whoever was without sin should throw the first stone. Many of us know this part of story. Jesus got all the people who wanted to stone this woman to leave. And after they did He picked up her head and asked her to say where her accusers had gone. He asked her if there was anyone left to condemn her, she said that there was no one. Then He told her, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” (John 8)
What makes this come to mind as I was writing is this was what I did in regards to the things I first mentioned done. Yes. And in this story I see that grace is given. But Jesus doesn’t say to the woman, and to me, that what was done was ok. It wasn’t. And I’m not going to try to say that anything I have done in the past is justifiable. Jesus calls it sin. And as much as I wish it wasn’t the case or that I had acted differently that’s not the way things went down. But then Jesus gives grace and says to go and sin no more. I have no way of knowing what this woman did. But I have tried to follow those words. Though I do still often fail in my attempts.
And as a Christian I stand and do not claim to be better than anyone. And if to win an argument an ad hominem argument must be made that is fine. I would simply like to add that these are not the worst of my sins. Not at all. And I think that any of you reading this would be able to relate to the fear of those things we wish we hadn’t done being broadcast online.
And this is what I think is beautiful about the grace of God. No matter what sins we commit Jesus is willing to cover us in His grace. He has done that for me. But He has also called me to own it as sin, and strive to stop sinning in this way.
I hate when my sin is called out. I really do. I hate when people see the things in me that I wish weren’t there. But they are. What I have done qualifies me for none of Jesus’ love and grace that I so often speak of. And none of yours. But He was a better man than me, and He gave me His grace. The same grace that He offers freely to each and every one of us who has secrets they pray are never posted online.
But that’s the thing about being a Christian. The whole point of Jesus coming was to point to the fact that all of us are unworthy to say anything, ever. I have no right to stand on my own feet and boast. I know that when I look at myself I am a lot worse than any of you know. This does not justify anything which I have ever done. But what it does is make each and every one of my sins, and I have a lot, stories of a grace that was greater. So I will strive to ensure that when I do boast it is in Christ alone. Because even in writing this I am amazed that Christ would love me with the past I have. But I am amazed all the more that He does…