It is the ultimate in imposter syndrome. What if my true nature was exposed to the world? What if I stood before everyone like the Emperor without any clothes?
Have you ever worried about exposure? What if the most shameful acts were exposed to the world? What if your darkest fantasies were displayed on a movie screen for all to see?
And lets keep going. Do you ever just hope that you are “good enough” to stand before God after your death?
And you quickly try to put it out of your mind because there is a part of you deep inside that tells you that there is no way God will accept you.
What if you could have a do-over? If you could live your life again and avoid all of the shame and misery and guilt, how great would that be!
Or Perhaps you could live again and do over all of those times you didn’t act in love or in kindness, where the cruelty of your heart broke through the carefully constructed wall around your soul and wounded the ones you love the most.
But there is a part of you that is afraid that you would simply do the same things and act the same way.
But what if you could have a perfect record, as if you never had nor committed any sin?
If you have never been told that Jesus offers you his own righteousness, then shame on the preachers you have been listening to your whole life.
The fact is that the Christianity is not “do better, and God might accept you.”
It is greater than forgiveness; it is “as if you have never committed nor had any sin”.
That is beyond pardon, beyond forgiveness, beyond God just looking the other way.
It is God looking right at you and seeing his begotten Son, in whom he is well-pleased.
It isn’t tolerance. It is embrace.
In Jesus, you are embraced, welcomed, loved, protected, fed, and a part of something far, far beyond yourself.
If only you accept it with a believing heart. This is the call of the gospel. That is what good news really is.
It isn’t “be a better person.” And it isn’t that God is somehow not holy enough to notice your sins.
It upholds God’s holiness and God’s mercy all at once.
You stand before him in a righteousness that isn’t your own, but the work of another.
As the Heidelberg puts it:
60. How are you righteous before God?
Only by true faith in Jesus Christ: that is, although my conscience accuses me, that I have grievously sinned against all the commandments of God, and have never kept any of them, and am still prone always to all evil; yet God, without any merit of mine, of mere grace, grants and imputes to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ, as if I had never committed nor had any sins, and had myself accomplished all the obedience which Christ has fulfilled for me; if only I accept such benefit with a believing heart.
There is no “yeah, but…” to that at all.
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3 responses to “What if they knew what I was really like?”
Absolutely love this post, thank you!
Yummy! I’ll re-read that one, and let it ooze into every pore of my being thank you.
“Do you ever just hope that you are “good enough” to stand before God after your death?”
“But there is a part of you that is afraid that you would simply do the same things and act the same way.”
“It is greater than forgiveness; it is “as if you have never committed nor had any sin”.
“You stand before him in a righteousness that isn’t your own, but the work of another.”
There are times I read the work of others, and they say things that I had never thought of before! Then there are times I read the work of others, and they say things that I had JUST been thinking of before.
The latter is one of those times. Sam recently wrote on Facebook about hearing a sermon that never mentioned Christ.
I thought: how is that possible? EVERYTHING we are, that we have in our born again lives, is because of everything He did, everything He said; He was (and is) everything that we could never be or become.
He lived the life that only exists in our very best of dreams, a fairy tale in which we lived exactly as we should and never, ever slipped up. Not even once. We had the perfect ” life script” that we perfectly memorized AND followed, never strayed from and never required any revisions, nor did we ever need any retakes to get it “just right” or a “bit better” or “closer to perfect.” No bloopers, no blunders, no “brain farts” where we omitted or neglected anything. We never slipped or stumbled, intentionally or otherwise. We did it absolutely perfectly right, and down the the letter, the very first time.
And it’s NOT just the words and actions we impeccably lived out. Our mind and heart, spirit and soul, were perfectly pure and unstained. Not one sinful temptation ever came to fruition.
Even at our very best, our righteousness is still as “filthy rags.” That is why His righteousness if so vital to not only freely accept, but fiercely and fearlessly abide in. Without the life He lived, that we could never live, living in us, we have no life at all.
I personally think that there are those that profess Christ, even confess Christ as their Savior, but do NOT preach Christ—who might not truly believe He led an absolutely sinless life. If you don’t believe that, then His death and resurrection are unable to perfectly secure your salvation. His absolute goodness still wasn’t good enough to satisfy your absolute lack of goodness.
Without that belief, you’ll say you need more time to do better, more chances for do overs, you make more promises, you offer more false hopes. You’re living that constant cycle of fears and frustrations, misplaced faith and focus on your own innumerable faults, rather than full faith in Him who was faithful to NO fault.
I once read a wonderful insight about Isaiah 53:12, where He was numbered with the transgressors. It was as if He said: put Me down with them them, even though I don’t belong there. Make their sins Mine instead, even though they don’t belong to me.
Ironically if living a sinless life is a dream that needs to die, a fantasy that can never come true, what He offers us can feel like an impossible dream that really IS reality! It is as if He had sinned (but He didn’t). It is as if we had not sinned (but we did).
As Sam put it: ‘In Jesus, you are embraced, welcomed, loved, protected, fed, and a part of something far, far beyond yourself. If only you accept it with a believing heart”
Live the dream that is no dream at all, that you will never wake up from. You don’t compete with Christ to win over Christ, you confess that Christ already won, and won us all over, for all of us.