Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Imperfection or Deception

It's the line between realness and "goodness" that seems to trip Christians up. We're often told that we are supposed to be this picture of Christ, perfect, without spot or blemish. I mean, the definition of Christian I was taught was "Christ Like." I was taught to C.A.R.E. = Christ's Attitude Reflected Everywhere. And while these are wonderful principles that I COMPLETELY AGREE WITH, I think they tend to trip us up.

It is wonderful to strive to be better, to follow God's commandments to the "T". But it is also impossible.

Now, I know that that might be the opposite of what you've been taught, but it's true. 

There is no way that we can fulfill all of the commands demanded in a blood covenant with God Himself. 

Now, before you go off shouting about how could God demand so much of us if we couldn't fulfill it, wait. 

He knows that we can't do it. He doesn't expect that of us.

I know. It sounds crazy, but it's true.

Do you remember the part in the Bible where Abram goes out, meet's with God, and comes back as Abraham? Even if you do, you should go back and reread it. A lot more happened than a symbolic name change, though that's what we tend to focus on.

You see, when you look closer at it, God entered into a blood covenant with Abram. Those things can only be gotten out of by death. Which is pretty intimidating if you're Abram, and your partner in this is God. I mean, God isn't going to screw up, at least not first, and Abram really doesn't have anything of value to bring to this union.

But the most amazing thing happens, and because we don't still practice blood covenants, when we read it, we tend to think Abram is having a drug fueled dream that somehow got passed into the scripture. I mean, that's what I would think if I saw a "smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces." That's not something normal. But if you look into it, that's the part of the covenant where the two parties tell God that if they don't hold up their part of the bargain, He can tear them apart like the animals that they just sacrificed. 

Now, if you remember, this covenant was between God and Abram. Abram was knocked out when this happens, so the only person who was vowing this, was God. And He did so willingly. He entered into a covenant, that said that everything He had would be Abram's, took all responsibility and possible punishment on Himself, and did all of this knowing that Abram had nothing to give in return. He then went on to put part of His name into Abram's making him Abraham, which if you ever have the chance to research the meaning of Hebrew letters and all that, WILL BLOW YOUR MIND.

And I know that I've heard this story told multiple times, since I was a little girl. I was raised in a church where the Word was taught. We didn't tie up many of the messages in religious mumbo jumbo, but still, with all that, the part I have always remembered from that story is that God promised Abram some kids. Which is pretty cool, depending on who you ask, but I've missed the whole point. God loves us. A lot.

He wants the best for us. He wants us to choose right. He wants us to choose life and blessing, because He knows that it will help us avoid the death and cursing. But more important than all of that, He wants us.

He wants us even in our imperfection.

Instead of the teaching that we should be ashamed of our sin, that we need to hide it and run from God till we're "fixed," we should have been taught to run to Him, holding out our sin, our brokenness, our failures, and ask Him to help. To heal. To fix, repair, and in general, make it better. We need to stop pretending that we have things under control, that we're these "perfect Christians." This deception, in the end, fools no one, and ends up hurting us and others in the end.

This is why He entered into covenant with Abram. This is why He sent His Son, the Ultimate Blood Covenant. Not to condemn, but to give us Life, and Life more abundantly.

And please don't be confused. This is not a reason to sin. This is a way to finally stop.

Thank you all for reading! You can listen to the sermon I got inspired from here. It would be the one by Terrance Reeves Chong on 12/11/11 called Covenant of Healing. It's free, and it's super good. Have a wonderful, happy, fun filled and Merry Christmas! Love you all!


  1. REALLY enjoyed this! I love God's word, and enjoy being challenged through it. Don't get me wrong, I love your other posts...but, this one seemed tailored to my interests. :) Anyway, it's a great message and reminder to us all! Pastor Matt Chandler (The Village church in Texas) does a good job at "solving" the conflict between regeneration and walking in truth about our depravity. He makes it a mantra for his church that "it's ok to not be ok, but it's not ok to stay that way." This allows for grace and truth in confession, but also a reminder that we are always growing more and more in love with our Savior. (I could talk about this all day, but will refrain from rambling) LOVED IT!

  2. Theres so much to just being real & not pretending you've arrived to some place of perfection. Can't say I was ever encouraged by observing someones perfection, if anything it made me RUN! It was when I realized that in my imperfection He STILL loves me. I'm believing the church is learning as Joe said in his comment "it's ok to not be ok, but it's not ok to stay that way."

    You gave us a lot to think about Lauren!

  3. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Joe! And I am definitely stealing that quote. And I feel ya on the rambling. I have to resist every time I sit down to write!