A feeling of unworthiness hindered me to blog for the last eight months. Who am I to blog about the kindness of Jesus when I am not even kind? Who am I to blog about loving one another as God loves us when I easily lose my temper and so easily succumb to anger and hatred? Whenever I was inspired to write about my faith I could hear my mind saying “You are such a hypocrite! Nobody’s going to believe in everything you’re about to write because look at you, Karen. Think about your flaws. You aren’t as loving, as forgiving, as nice, as holy as Jesus. You’re trying to sound like a good Christian through your written words but your actions show how evil you are.” In short, I lost my confidence in writing my personal story of faith and as I reread my old posts I cringed with guilt and shame. I promised to myself that I would make myself deserving to blog about my Christian life. But making myself deserving is like making my hands completely clean all the time. I wash my hands numerous times in a day and I still couldn’t guarantee that my hands are uncontaminated after pressing the public elevator button or grabbing the telephone in public booth. I touch filthy doorknobs every now and then. I hold my food as I eat and flush toilet bowls and turn on and off faucets from time to time. Time passed and I didn’t make myself deserving like my bare hands which need frequent cleaning. I am flawed human being.
When I accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and savior, I received salvation and forgiveness. I became a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) because I was born again. I became a child of God. I was changed and so was my life. Genuine Christians are called to be like Christ who walk in righteousness and holiness. Whenever I met unpleasant Christians who spoke harshly and thought ill of others I thought to myself, I am more deserving of your love than this people, Lord. They are not worthy.
Recently, I yelled at the taxi driver because he couldn’t understand English so he didn’t get the right direction I told him. I rudely paid higher than the usual bill. I am still ill-tempered, intolerant, and self-centered. I am still human with human emotions. Am I still worthy Lord? I am just like all of them. I thought to myself and grieved.
It took me eight long months to finally decide to write again. So what if I am not worthy? So what if I am not like Jesus? Pare-pareho lang tayong masama. (We are all sinners.) I heard Pastor Bong preached. I now understand the reason why I felt so undeserving to blog about my Christian faith. I was condemning other Christians’ shortcomings. I was sensitive to everyone’s sins. Christian pa naman siya pero ang sama ng ugali n’ya. (She’s a Christian yet she has a bad attitude.) I said. Hindi ako kagaya n’ya. (I am not like her.) I was comparing myself to others and thinking I was better, faultless and deserving. Then I remorsefully made mistakes and my dignity earned from my good deeds abruptly vanished. Shame, guilt and a strong sense of unworthiness took place. I forgot that the love of God, the forgiveness of God, the grace of God is not earned nor deserved. It is written in Ephesians 2 : 8-9 (NLT), God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
Pastor Bong said, “Yung character sa Bible kapareho lang natin.” (The character in the Bible and we are all the same.) King David committed adultery. Jacob deceived his brother. Peter denied Jesus. They sinned, repented and God forgave them. I forgot that being a Christian doesn’t mean we no longer sin. We sin but we confess it all to God and He is so forgiving and merciful, He will forgive those who sincerely repent. I forgot that walking in the light doesn’t mean sinlessness. God knows our sinful nature. Before we were born He already knew the sins we would commit. That’s why Romans 5:8 says But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Christ already paid our sins in the cross because we cannot pay. Who am I to condemn others and myself as well? Christ died for our sins so that there will be no condemnation for us. That’s how beautiful the grace of God is. We, children of God, are saved by grace. We are not perfect but still qualified through His grace. We are flawed but still worthy. We are flawed but forever forgiven.