I’d love to be able to say that I always do the right thing
I’d love to be able to say that I always practice what I preach.
I’d love to be able to say that I’ve never hurt anyone.
I’d love to be able to say that I never feel shame over my actions, words or thoughts.
I’d love to be able to say that I live my life differently to those around me.
I’d love to be able to say that I don’t let the world affect the way I choose to live.
I’d love to be able to say that I always trust God.
I’d love to be able to say that I can talk about my faith, about Jesus, openly and without inhibition.
I’d love to be able to say all of this and more.
But I can’t. I’d be lying to you and to myself.
I fail every day. I fall away every day. I do, say or think the wrong thing every day.
This isn’t some man-made structure forcing guilt and shame on me in the way that many would tell you. It’s not even depression convicting me of things which won’t bother me once I’m better.
We all know that we do the wrong thing, we sin, day after day. The ability to know and feel that is in each one of us. We know that things are wrong without a human hierarchy heaping guilt and shame on us, because God has put that there for us.
“You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written:
“ ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’” (Mark 14:27 NIV)
Jesus knew his disciples would fall away. They would run, deny knowing him, hide away and pity their misfortune. They’d let the cares of the world in and get between them and him. They would sin.
However, he also knew they’d pick themselves up, with his help, and come back again. And again. And again…
The measure of us and our faith isn’t how many times we fall. It’s how we pick ourselves back up again. Do we struggle to our feet, worry about the rips and dirt on our clothes and head off in our own direction? Or do we let Jesus help us back up, clean us, mend our clothes then lead us back along the right path?
We need help in life. With God’s help we can have the right guide, rescuer and teacher. Eventually we will fall less often. We will learn where all the potholes are and how to avoid them, or to get through them without tripping. We’ll still stumble and fall occasionally, we can’t avoid that, but he’ll always be there to pick us back up if we ask him to.
I’m fed up of having my face in the dirt. I need a hand.