But thank God that, although you used to be slaves of sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching you were transferred, and having been liberated from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness. Romans 6:17-18
Just a few weeks ago, I asked an acquaintance if she would like to come to church with my family and me. From the look on her face, it was almost as if I had asked her to come clean the toilets in our house. She tried to be polite, but the look on her face screamed “Ick, no way!”
“I’m not really big on church. Christian are such hypocrites!”, she said. I looked her right in the eye and I said, “You are right. Christians are hypocrites. We ALL are. Christian or not, we are flawed, sinful, hypocritical, judgmental people because we are human. Being a Christian doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you forgiven and gives you are stronger desire to seek God so He changes our hearts to look more like His.”
She wasn’t really sure what to do with all of that information and said, “Well, maybe I’ll come to your church some time. Just once.”
Isn’t this the problem with so many we are praying for to come to know Jesus? They judge us as much as we judge them, but we are the ones who are supposed to show Jesus through our actions so others will desire to know God. Whether we like it or not, as Christians, others watch us more closely, they study our reactions to situations, they may even test us at times.
Most days, I’m grace-filled because the Lord has been working in my heart for many years (and I still have a long way to go), but sometimes when my heart is heavy or frustrated, when I haven’t taken the time to fill up on God’s word and my tank is running on empty, I can fall into that old trap of judgemental, hypocritical, yuck-yuck! Thankfully, as a Christian who relies on God’s word for direction, rebuking and guidance, I know that although being a Christian doesn’t make me perfect and sinless, it does make me forgiven and free to get up and try again with God’s grace and guidance.
With Christ, we can transform from slaves of sin and shame to slaves of freedom who are blameless before our King.
Please don’t miss this important distinction! As Christ followers, we are no longer slaves to sin, but we will sin. We will mess up. We will be hypocritical and judgemental sometimes, but God will tug at our hearts. The trick is to let go of the shame and guilt that can come with messing up when we know we should and want to do better for Christ. Instead of letting those feelings creep in, we need to cling to His tender love and graciousness. We are still flawed, but with the Holy Spirit living within us He will mold and shape hearts and lives to look more like his every day.
With Christ, we are blameless before our King because Christ died to stand in the gap and cover all our sins from the past to the future with His blood and great love for us. Praise God!