Christian, Who Are You?
Often in conversation with my husband, I will compliment him in one way or another and he will instantly turn to me and declare that he is a sinner. I will just as often banter back with, “Yes, but a sinner saved by grace, a redeemed sinner.” We have this same conversation on a regular basis. Yet, the other day as this played out, a thought came to me, a redeemed sinner yes, but a redeemed sinner of what? It struck me what a generic statement a “redeemed sinner” was. The conversation in my head went something like this,
Wonderful, a redeemed sinner of what?
You know, sin.
Generic and safe. Sin. We, as sinful, proud people, like generic, hazy statements like this. It doesn’t make us feel so bad. There is no conviction in it. No challenge. And no power to convince us we need change as more often than not…we really don’t believe we need changing.
Okay, so now think with me, when we are meeting someone new, and they ask with genuine interest, “So, tell me about you, who are you?” What do we tell them? Habitually the details relayed will present us in a good light because, of course, we want them to think well of us. Especially, if we think well of them, if we hold the questioner in high esteem. So, we tell them our occupations, our married status, if we have children or grandchildren, what our religious stance is, our political position, any number of details, but rarely will we reveal our soul status, our spiritual condition. Why?
As a result, when the above scene with my husband played out yet once again, and the Spirit confronted me, “Yes, a sinner but a sinner of what, lying, adultery, prostitution, idolatry, what?” He required honesty knowing I needed it in my soul. A difficult challenge. I began to think about this. Yes, I am a sinner saved by grace; I saw myself on a podium in front of a group of people introducing myself,
Thank you for having me. Let me introduce myself. I am Ulrike Grace.
I am -a redeemed prostitute,
-a redeemed drunk or drug user,
-a redeemed liar,
-a redeemed idolater,
-a redeemed adulterer.
-a redeemed oath breaker. All of these things and more.
What do you think the reaction would be? I didn’t have to actually do it, though I may be tempted to one day, to know I would see eyes wide open in surprise and maybe even shock, some with downcast eyes. I would hear uncomfortable shuffling, an instant busyness as some in the audience would try to find something to occupy themselves so they won’t have to listen. I am not sure I wouldn’t do the same thing. We are uncomfortable with the truth even when it is redeeming truth. Yet I didn’t say I was a liar today…I said I was a redeemed liar but my pride, still and yet, does not want people to know that I even was a liar. Let’s face it, the Church hasn’t always been graceful to the fallen and the wounded. Believers are loath to be honest and upfront with their scars.
We teach alcoholics in Alcoholics Anonymous to declare, “Hello I am a recovering Alcoholic.” A redeemed alcoholic. They, alcoholics are taught that recognition and confession is three quarters of the way to full healing. We do this with the physical body yet we are loath to do this for the soul. We want to be known for what we do; for the good things we have accomplished and the good attributes which are respectful and honorable. But for whose glory? Gods or ours? Do we refrain so as to be to cover our embarrassment? If I would be honest about where I have come from and what the Lord Jesus has redeemed me from, who do you think will get the glory? Father. For the Spirit points to the Son and the Son glorifies the Father.
So I make a request today. Christian, who are you? Tell me about you? And to the greater body of Christ, are we willing to listen? Are we willing let ourselves and others make their declaration of redemption and freedom?
© 2010 UlrikeGrace