What I Cannot Earn.

I am my own worst critic.

In her sermon yesterday, Amy talked about how we were put on earth to serve two purposes: a general purpose, and a specific purpose. She focused on that specific purpose, and how we must determine what it is that God put us on earth for. 

Because I am my own worst critic this is very difficult for me. 

I find myself wondering why I did such-and-such thing. I find myself questioning my motives. I find myself chastising myself for saying something-or-other. And then I find myself thinking that there is no way that there is a specific purpose that God has put me on earth to do. 

I don’t think that this struggle between sin, a sense of futility, and purpose is one that is limited to just me. In fact, Paul writes about it in Romans 7:

Although I want to do good, evil is righ there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?

My body is subject to death, and I don’t think this means merely that it is mortal, and will shut down on me eventually; it is subject to sin, to weakness. No matter how much I try, I’ll fail. 

As I was driving home last night, I listened to this song by this band I liked back in the 90s called The Normals called What I Cannot Earn. And in that song it says:

I try, I try. But I fail, I fail. It’s like walking on ice in socks. It’s like breathing underwater. I try. 

I live, I live. And I breathe, I breathe. But is living really life? And is breath really breathing without You?

When will I learn to accept my mistakes? When will I learn to accept Your grace?

And if I was perfect, I wouldn’t need mercy. And if I was perfect, I wouldn’t need God. 

Because that is what it all comes down to: the real struggle I have with my sense of purpose is my inability to accept my mistakes and accept God’s grace. And while “grace” is a word that we throw around and use all the time, it is one that is very hard to grasp. It is unnratural. We don’t deserve it. 

But God freely gives it because He knows we need it. We are failures, we are broken, we are helpless and hopeless… outside of God. We cannot fulfill our purpose in life on our own, and God uses us despite that. He redeems us and gives us Grace. 

As Paul says in Romans 7:

Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

 

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