We love to take credit for everything in America, and we also like to blame the less fortunate for their troubles. The truth is that everything we have comes from God.
Our ability to believe in Him comes from Him.
Our knowledge of our need for Him comes from Him.
Our ability to do anything comes from Him.
But that's okay, because He helps those who cannot help themselves.
Do you have a porn problem that you've tried everything to conquer? Are you lost in sin?
He can save you.
Are you down and out? Could you really use a friend?
A try-hard religion will give you and only you the credit, and God doesn't want that. He gets the glory all for Himself.
So often, I have felt like a loser of the faith, because I haven't conquered over my evil ways. I have fought the cursing habit I have, and I have lost. I can't stand up on stage and tell you how I grit my teeth and became a shiny, happy person who is a good example to others.
I will not do that, because it isn't true. I cannot stand possibly hurting people with presenting a false image of Christianity.
We are bumpy, bruised-up messes of human flesh incapable of helping ourselves. For every person proclaiming try-hard faith, a brother or sister is out there languishing in deep, dark depression, often comparing themselves to us and feeling they will never measure up.
On top of their pain, there is heaped shame even though the Bible says that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Our name-it-and-claim-it mentality puts all the emphasis on strength, and if you're not strong, well, you've messed up somehow. If you're hurting, you didn't try hard enough. You obviously did not HELP YOURSELF.
What kind of a religion is that?
I want to pause and mention that God does bless diligence. He absolutely does. Even so, diligence is not doing it yourself, because. you. can't.
I'd like to say I am sorry to have to be the one to say it, but really, I am not. I have a Creator who saved me and sanctifies me and helps me in every facet of my life. My failings are my own, and I am done trying harder to make a difference so others will feel I am helping the Christian cause.
Somebody wrote me a letter the other day citing the poor example of Christianity that I am giving to other people, because I won't hide my warts and pimples. A few days later, a friend of mine, desperately depressed, reached out to me for help.
Me. Down-in-the-dumps-terribly-depressed me. She clearly had the wrong idea, as people sometimes do. She thinks our group of friends isn't struggling and couldn't possibly understand runaway thoughts that can drive a person crazy. I disabused her of that notion and told her that we are ALL struggling in one way or another.
And quite honestly, it grieves me that I have to tell a fellow believer of the things beneath the surface plaguing the people with the perfect images. God help us, this is not what Christianity is about. We are helpless without Christ.
But so many of us think Christianity is a club where we can show off our gold stars to anybody who will listen. My friend who is sliding ever deeper into depression thinks she is all alone when nothing could be further from the truth. To be honest, I fear for her life, and I know she is not the only one who is like this.
He didn't save us because of our power. He saved us because of His power. We had to agree with Him to get saved, but it was His glory, and His might. I am so weak and prone to failure that no one else can get the credit but Him. And for that, I am glad.
If you are weak, poor, broken, depressed, let Him be your Help. Let Him be your strength. Let others see that He is with you there in the valley. So many of us act like He can't be with us unless the sunshine is on full-blast, but we do not have a fair-weather God.
I've sat with people in physical or emotional distress who were clearly drawing comfort from their Savior, and it gives others comfort, pointing them toward Jesus.
The question now is whether you're willing to give up your image, so He can help you. I promise you, it's worth it.
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