The World Doesn't Need Perfect Christians

{This is a post inspired from a sermon of a pastor I greatly respect. I've probably heard thousands of sermons and can hardly remember one point from all of those preachers, but I can tell you almost every point this pastor made in one particular sermon.}

I use to think, as a Christ-follower, I had to have it all together. I use to think that I had to know all the right answers to be a leader in the church. The thought of replying, "I don't know," to someone's spiritual questions was terrifying to me. I use to think that the more I grew up in Christ, the less my troubles would exist. I use to think that I would cease struggling with sin at some point. I use to just want to be "there."  

There. There where I have complete mastery over this earthly body. There where I am completely content in Christ and always walk in complete peace. There where nothing can shake me.

But here is what I've learned about the idea of there.

It's just that there doesn't exist. At least on this side of life...

Can I give you an example of this in the Bible?

First of all, I actually LOVE how the Bible is FULL of misfits whom God used greatly for his Kingdom. But one of the more shocking and encouraging examples that I'll give you is Paul. For those that aren't familiar with all those Bible 'characters,' Paul was a really, really, really bad dude. He was known for killing Christians. In short, Paul met Jesus-the Jesus that was supposedly killed on a cross-and Paul's life was radically changed by Jesus, and Paul became arguably the greatest 'preacher' that ever lived. Almost the entire New Testament is written by Paul. 

One of the last letters that Paul wrote was a letter to the church in Corinth. And in that letter, we have Paul at end of his life, a "weathered apostle" as he calls himself, writing from a place in what seems like insecurity. Paul describes himself to a fragile jar, a cheap lamp.

Wait-what?!

Here's Paul, the great apostle, probably second to Jesus himself in most people's minds, at the END of his life, growth, and maturity in Christ on this earth, and of ALL the things he could compare himself to, WHAT DOES HE COMPARE HIMSELF TO?!? 

A fragile jar.

Y'all… "there" doesn't exist. One day it will in heaven, but not in this life. Zach, are you saying God doesn't heal? Does God want us to go through this life wallowing in our sin and troubles??? Most certainly, I am NOT saying that. Because God does heal. I believe that is one the main reasons Jesus came to earth- to, in fact, heal us. However, here is the reality of the situation that we church people get confused sometimes...

The reality: Once God does heal us of a specific trouble, is that it? No. We all know how life goes...Once we get past something, there's always what?? Something else. The deeper I go into the love of Jesus, the more I realize how messed up I actually am.

Want some hope? Relax. The world doesn't need perfect Christians. The Bible is full of broken people who knew that they didn't have it all together, that knew they needed a  Savior to rescue them and a Lord to lead them. And that made them great. 

There doesn't exist. I believe that we're all broken and will continue to be broken in some way. And contrary to popular belief, I believe that our brokenness is not an obstacle to God using us greatly, but that our brokenness is the very reason He can use us greatly. Why did Paul boast in comparing himself to a cheap lamp? Could it be that Paul knew he was broken and frail? Maybe Paul knew the more broken he was as the cheap lamp, the more light that was able to be exposed through him? Jesus, who radically changed Paul's life, being that very light in Paul, being exposed to everyone, through Paul's broken self. 

Paul goes on to say in that letter to the church in Corinth that,

"We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves."

Happy Thanksgiving,

Zach