As this blog catches the wind in its sails a bit, I have been thinking lately about what it looks like to truly live out the gospel. Several of you have mentioned to me that you fear you could never live up to the standards of who you think I am and of how I live my life. Ladies, if there could be one sentiment I could forcefully burn to the ground, it would be the idea of me as perfect or holier than thou in any way.
In actuality, I am just as much as a mess as anyone else. Every. single. day. I find myself falling short and basking in the light of my failures. Some days the holes I dig for myself are so deep that light has a hard time reaching me at the bottom. Yet, through my vast experience in not measuring up, I have grasped the greatest truth of the gospel: there is no pit too deep and no failure too large for the grace of Christ to reach.
The Apostles and the Gospel
Have you ever given much thought to Jesus’s friends? I wonder what it must have been like to live in the daily shadow of Christ when He was alive and then in the daily pressure of spreading His word after He died. Can you guys even imagine what that must have been like? Beauty, glory, and love are all words that rise to the top of my mind, but I think some other words like fear, sin, and failure must have been there also.
The apostles were just normal guys full of sin, failure, and shame. Some of them were pretty mediocre and some of them pretty awful, yet all of them were brought into the fold of Jesus’s innermost circle. He could have chosen the shiniest, happiest, and most famous of dudes to be his BFFs; yet instead, He chose broken people just like you and me to be His hands and feet.
Now let’s go a step deeper. After Jesus died, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the other 8 didn’t have cute little Bibles wrapped in ribbon to hand out across the countryside to the people they met. The written word as we know it didn’t even exist for several lifetimes after they died, instead, those guys had to BE the gospel. They only had their words and their lives to use as tools to spread the truth of Christ. Basically, they were just regular people full of sin, failure, and mistakes who loved of Jesus and who had to use their words, lives, and actions to draw people to Christ. When you add in grace, redemption, and the Holy Spirit guiding their actions it sounds like a recipe for some of the greatest stories of evangelism ever told.
You Can Be the Gospel
I think you can see where I am going with this. Each of us are as messed and full of sin as the chick next to us. Forget perfection and perfectly pressed church dresses, God isn’t calling you into fake smiles and an image you can’t possibly uphold. Instead, He is calling into receiving the grace and redemption Jesus bought for you on the cross, sharing your messy life with others, and living the truths of His word to the best of your ability. Some of the strongest Christian women I know still throw out the F-bomb when they spill a gallon of milk. Sin happens, but so do redemption and grace.
Nobody you encounter in your daily life will relate to a version of you who puts on a facade of perfection every day. However, everyone can relate to a story full of failure and triumph that is steeped in grace and redemption.
Ladies, we can each live the gospel just as well our biblical forefathers could. Remember friends, you have the freedom to live as new creations in Christ. Don’t waste your time dwelling in shame, perfection, or comparison. Live YOUR life according to His word and let Him use both your sin and your victories for His glory.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
2 Corinthians 5:17
I love hearing for you all, please email me if you need prayer or a shoulder to lean on.