Sunday, August 5, 2007

Oops I Did It Again!

If you talk to enough Christians, if you cruise faith-related blogs, you're going to come up against good old fashioned guilt somewhere along the line. The real Woe-Is-Me-I'll-Never-Be-Enough kind of anguish. If we have a conscience, we've all been there. But to keep coming back there? To live there?

How helpful, how "godly", how spiritual is that really? Standing at the train station unaware of what's happening around you, awash in feelings of remorse and self-pity. Is that a "christian" way to respond to personal or moral failure?

How about doing something about your life today, whether that's making amends to someone you wronged or deciding to get up off the "boxing ring canvas" and go another round? That would seem a far better use of the day God is giving you.

But we seem to warm to this particular tactic of our enemy; it feels strangely satisfying to beat ourselves up, to be crushed by despair, to agree that we'll never get better.

I just love the last scene in John’s gospel where JC and Simon Peter are on the beach. And I shared this with a friend of mine on his blog this morning. As I shared, God gave me a new understanding of the passage...

JC: So. You love me more than these guys right?

Pete: You had to bring that up! Of course I do (I’m a bad man, I’m a bad man, I’m a bad man)

JC: Ok, well, then feed my lambs. (Hmm, I don’t think he heard me). Simon. You. Love. Me. True or false?

Pete: C’mon, stop torturing me; you know I do!

JC: Right, so, take care of my sheep. (Sigh! Still not getting it). Simon? Dude! Do you feel a deep affection for me?

Pete: You’re breaking my heart here! Of course I do!

JC: Then that’s what matters. You can get on with your life, stop wallowing in self-pity and feed my sheep. I’m over your sin and I believe in you. This is the way I see your life: when you were young you did what you want. Now you are so committed to me that when you're old you'll be prepared to go where you don't want to, to die an unpleasant death, because of your love. You and me? We're ok. Now that we got that straight, I'll take you back to what I said to you right at the start so that you get going again: Follow me.

Friend, He’s over your sin and He believes in you. Follow Him afresh today.


daviddouglas. said...

mmm yeh thts good pete.

matjnewton said...


Good post, now I feel more guilty lol :D

In truth, I know what you're talking about but I think I suffer from the opposite affliction - not enough guiilt!