I want to be okay. I want to be assured that I am measuring up to what God wants me to be, to be doing my job to the best of my ability, to please those around me (including God), and to be doing what is right. (I.e., I don't want to be a sinner.) I've found myself falling into believing the lie that I CAN measure up to God's standards, at least in other people's eyes. After all, I'm a pretty nice person and I don't really have any big secrets or struggles. In fact, (I find myself thinking) I haven't really ever done anything wrong, right? Those Ten Commandments? Yup, never broken those. Ever. (Ha, right.) Even through college and my first few years of the "working world" I found myself thinking that I was a basically good person, because the things I struggle with (unbelief, pride, selfishness) aren't that "big of a deal." But when the trials of life hit then I am forced to examine my theology and see what is truly driving me and what the Scriptures say. And that is when I uncover the depths of my sinful heart. (Remember that 1st commandment: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me?" My heart is full of idols.)
The more I uncover the grace of God and the character of God, I start to see myself as God sees me, and I am NOT okay. I am a sinner. I cannot live up to God's perfect standard of holiness, at least not in my own strength. I have found friends who have been in the depths of sinful struggles, and I've found that I am not any different. I am just like them. I am capable of the same things. Just because I haven't acted on my sinful desires to the depths other people have doesn't mean I am justified. I find myself to be self-righteous, which is just as bad. BUT GOD doesn't leave any of us there. The more we realize the depths of our sinful souls the more we have an opportunity to see how GREAT God is. It's okay to be a sinner, because Jesus died for sinners. There is hope. When I see myself as God sees me, I am thankful that as a Christian, through the blood of Christ, I am a JUSTIFIED sinner. We are terrible sinners, but Jesus Christ is an equally great Savior. Through HIM I can live in humility and repentance. God no longer sees me; He sees Christ in me. And that makes me okay.