I’m not sure why this is on my mind, but maybe someone needs to hear this. One of the best things that ever happened to me is realizing how terrible I am without Jesus.
Although I spent most of my life battling very deep insecurity, over-all I thought I was a “good person.”
I was so very quick to see the faults in others, especially those close to me — and I was not shy about saying so. Yet, I was a good person (I’m being sarcastic). I lived in fornication for several years, but I was loyal to that person. I was a good person. I worked hard as a young adult, working night shift then going to college every day. Even though in 2010 I heard the Lord clearly and ignored him because I needed that degree — a degree I barely used. I was a good person. I spiraled into a world of psychedelic drugs and alcohol, skipped work left and right, became self-absorbed and walled myself off from people. I treated my husband absolutely terribly and justified it. I was still a good person.
I had children. I had a degree I could not find work in. I was stuck in a dead-end and low-paying job, and I did not want my kids in day care. I had no idea how to be a parent. No idea how to be a wife. No idea what I believed about Jesus. I had no more friends, family who I did not even know, and my life was generally out of control. Guess what, I blamed others. I blamed circumstance. I blamed anything and anyone but myself — because I was a good person.
I did finally realize something though. I needed Jesus. I called out to him, and despite my past and the fact that I even ignored him a couple years prior too (right before my life spiraled out of control. Not a coincidence), he heard. He lead me to what I was looking for, and it was not long before one of the best realizations happened.
I am not a good person.
I am selfish. I am a liar. I am covetous. I am hateful and harshly judgmental. I am a hypocrite. I justify my wicked ways left and right by blaming others. I’m addicted. I’m confused. I am a lot of things, but I am not good. Even my good I began to see differently. The good was tainted somehow almost all the time. It was good for my own benefit, or the good was overshadowed by some other evil in me.
It is very hard to see ourselves truthfully. At the time, I did not feel like this was the best thing that could happen. I was depressed and as I learned more about how far separated my “goodness” is from God, I hated myself. Jesus loved me anyway — and he loved me enough to show me what is true. He loved me enough to pay the price for my sin. He loved me enough to lead me on a path of healing so that I can stop doing destructive things.
I am still not a very “good” person. I have faults. Personality traits that I do not like and sin struggles. No matter how much Jesus heals me, renews me, and causes me to become fruitful by the power of the Holy Spirit, I will never be good like Jesus is good. I will never be good like God is good. Even Jesus, the man without sin who is one with God did not claim to be good.
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone (Mark 10:18).
I do thank the Lord that we can grow towards goodness. We can be freed from the things that destroy our lives and the lives of others. We are not bound to the kingdom of this world and its darkness.
Now, I look back on that hard time and I think to myself, realizing how wretched I am is one of the best things that ever happened to me. It led me to Jesus. It led me to forgiveness, and this continues to lead me towards healing. We can have faith in our healing. We should. We should not admit defeat or beat ourselves up over mistakes once we have submitted to the Lord. We should have faith in His promises and know we will see the works of the Lord in us manifest over time.
However, if we have not yet realized how wretched we are without Jesus, then we are missing out on a great freedom. If we have been through that already, then sometimes it is good to remember where we came from. Anyway, these are my thoughts. I hope someone will benefit from this, because again, I’m not sure why this is on my mind.