Christ

First, I need Jesus. Not like, I used to need him, then I got him, now I don’t need him anymore. No, not like that. I still need him everyday. Why? Because I’m still a sinner. So, to my non-Christian friends, I’m not better than you. To my Christian friends, I’m not better than you. To those who have cheated on their wives, I’m not better than you. To those who had sex with their girlfriends before marriage, I’m not better than you. To the arrogant, the insolant, the pervert and the pagan, in the same way I think you need Jesus, I need him. Any Christian pretending to be better than anyone is behaving in a non-Christian manner. The whole premiss of our faith prevents us from acting better than others. We cheated on our God, murdered him, and though he rose from the dead and saved us from our sins, we continue to fail him everyday. We are better than nobody, and only better off than everybody because our God shows us grace in an unending and incessant pursuit of love that cannot be stopped. I’m not a holy man, but an unholy one clothed in the holiness of my God who died for my sins, and changes me everyday. As my Pastor likes to say, it’s not my job nor my goal to impose Jesus on anyone, but to propose him to everyone.

Second, because of God’s grace I’ve managed to pursue my fiancĂ© in a manner that I can point to and say, “this is one of many awesome ways to do this well.” I haven’t walked the only path nor the best, but a real good one. I learned everything about this from Jesus and those who follow him, and I have been able to follow through because I relied on his Spirit to empower me and his people to look out for me. That’s how it works.

Third, it’s not over. I have a six month engagement and then a lifetime of marriage. I’m still going to need a community of Jesus-Butt-Kicking-People to rock my world from time to time. I still need to take all the emotional risk in our relationship as much as possible, and I still need to be praying and preparing for our future. This is far from over, and I’m just as dependent on Jesus right now as I ever was.

Last, I was single for a long time. There’s nothing wrong with being single, there’s something wrong with idolizing it. You get absolutely nowhere in ministry by trying to make yourself unattainably holy. There are legitimate reasons for being single, but if you’re not mature enough, rich enough, healthy enough or just generally not ready enough, then start working towards those things. Some of the best wisdom I received was that everyone is either called to celibacy or marriage. The problem is thinking that being called to marriage means you have a divine right to it, you don’t. I had to accept that, and I personally prepared myself as best and as fast as I could by God’s grace trusting that even if I never married, the spiritual growth that would come from preparing for it would be worth it because it would mean being closer to Jesus. To be honest, that’s how I’m still functioning. Jesus is my teacher, and I run out on him all the time and he is nothing but patient with me.

Jesus is the man, and he’s the point of all this.

I just want to make that clear if I can.

It is too easy to forget who I am. I worship a God who teaches me that He made me in His image, that even though my evil actions have corrupted that image, He died to pay for and repair that image and likeness of Himself in me. I rush quickly back to the broken image, in my head, in my heart, and with my hands. I rush quickly back to sin. I’ve spent many years training to think the right thoughts, feel the right way, and do the right things. Sometimes I’ve been taught that this was the way to eternal life, and I’ve often believed it.

It is too easy to forget to worship the right Lord, to love the right person, and to serve the right Master. It’s too easy to forget Jesus. Too easy for me. I don’t judge Peter for sinking, for taking his eyes off of Jesus. I do that all the time. I spend a lot of the time my eyes are on Christ trying to prepare myself emotionally for the time when I will fail. In the end I’m just distracting myself from the only thing that matters.

It’s good that Christ’s hold on me is infinitely stronger than my hold on Him. Without that I’d slip into oblivion. With it, I’m a son of God.