four days into lent and i’ve already failed two days at the disciplines I have committed to take on.
doing well avoiding junk food (the temptation is rampant on days when discouragement is a close companion) but I suppose that that just goes to show what a desperate state I am in as a part of this broken humanity.
I have focused on three things… and have succeeded to this point at only one out of the three.
it is striking to me that on both days of my failure, I have felt the gravity of my own moral failure and interpersonal failures with more substance than usual as well.
the days when i have failed in my commitments are the same days that i have failed the people closest to me.
Without Jesus, what hope is there?
If i talk to my friends who don’t know Him, they assure me that we all struggle and you just have to get up and try again, and in doing that you maintain integrity and become a better person. That in humbly admitting your failures and moving on you find your own personal redemption.
and I suppose that sounds very good from a humanist point of view.
But what of the guilt and pain that comes from failure? Trying again– even succeeding multiple times after a failure does not erase, and usually does not even diminish the effects of the failure.
What legitimate hope of forgiveness is there without a Source of forgiveness? What good is it to try to find my sole absolution in someone else who is also incapable of upholding their own morality on their own? Without a standard of perfection to answer to, without perfection himself offering His forgiveness, through one another as well, then aren’t we ultimately just excusing eachother based on our shared inability to maintain goodness?
but with Jesus…
With someone who has maintained goodness… who IS goodness…
with HIM there is hope. There is the hope that the absolutely perfect absorbs the darkness of the absolutely imperfect… Takes the hopelessness of my best efforts amounting to repeated failure… and whispers to me the words that i so desperately need to hear: “you are still worth being loved. you are still loveable, and you are still my beloved. Take my hand, and lets get up. See I am making all things new! you are forgiven!!”
what freedom even accompanies writing that word…
I am forgiven!