“The old has gone, the new is here!” Yes, that is from 2 Corinthians 5 in what is called the New International Version (NIV).
I’ve been up and down the road of religious uneasiness for several years, and it was because of words like these that I had such a bad experience. The “old” me: the one that I had struggled to make even the least bit tolerable within my own eyes; the one who never really amounted to anything, no matter how hard I tried to see what others were pointing out as the achievements I should have been proud of. Versus, the “new” me, taught within the church as, “one who had failed”, and will continue to.
A failure. Yes, that is what you are. So, give the church money, kneel down at the altar and pour your tears out before the other failures.
That’s what I did. Each week, I would go to the church–up to three times–and listen to a message of love and hate, along with the confusing justifications of this dichotomy explained by great theologians who called themselves by some man made title before their real name. God… Looking back, I honestly still get sick to my stomach.
This morning, I am thinking about the peace that is slowly returning to me. No longer a slave to self-patronizing, I am looking to the Maker of all things to guide me back into what He was walking me through before all of the religious nightmares took place. I finally realized that all of the things that were hurting me were coming from within me. All of those things that were killing me, even though others were pointing out my achievements, were coming from my own demons that I had not yet given to God–all of those things from the past that I had not processed. I learned that gathering with others who always want to beat themselves up with an abusive ring leader at center is not what God wants.
I had not yet learned the real definition of, “The old has gone, the new is here”.
The local church is not it.
The frown you put on as you patronize yourself within those places is not it. The new is Jesus, and the old is what I was without knowing that. Realizing that has changed the way I see my own accomplishments (that He has walked with me through), my own failures (that He walks with me through), my own unanswered questions about this beautiful, yet confusing life (that He is with me through), as well as anything else I experience. Brainwashing people within little buildings of pride and prosperity of dishonorable kinds, is not “the new” that has come.
It’s just Jesus.
Realizing this is the peace that I now rest assured in. Listening to my conscience (even though a little seared) is better than listening to lies.