The morning opened with a familiar sin.
Crawling out of bed was quickly greeted by the weak and tired mind being obscured by a sin that I continuously struggle with. It’s not surprising. I know full well just how bad the particular vice I struggle with is, yet I sometimes give in to its tempting pull.
It’s no excuse, I know. If we are called to be like Christ, I believe we can agree it is to, “go and sin no more,” as He had put it.
I don’t need to name it, for it is one of many. After all, only Jesus was without sin. So, you can kindly lay down your stones.
But, truth be told, if it wasn’t the sin of this morning that I’m consciously aware of, it will be the sin that I’m not consciously aware of within the coming day.
This life of trying to walk as He had is really degrading. I mean that with all that I am, and I will gladly explain.
You see, I am a black and white thinker. It simply means, in this particular case, that I either see things as right or wrong with no middle ground—not a bit. Unfortunately, this all-or-nothing thinking habit has been a part of my life for a number reasons.
The complexity of me: the perfectionistic, highly anxious and hurt person I became throughout my childhood and well into adulthood; riddled with the low self-esteem that destroyed my self-worth. All of the factors, which I view as reasons, are all residuals that limit my faith.
Yes, limit my faith.
I’ve seriously had to redo my entire way of thinking in a number of ways. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, as well as meditation, prescribed medications, numerous grounding methods (a Psychology term), as well as not going to church is slowly releasing me from the hate that I had for myself. The whole, “God expects perfect followers” was a terrible thing for me, but I felt as though I had to do it in order to not go to Hell for all of eternity. In church, I was being taught that I must be a perfect man and an outstanding representation of Christ. I was made to feel anxious to please our God. I was commanded to spend the majority of my time with only others within our Christian community (our denomination and home church), as well as spreading the truth of Jesus to the unsaved, “outside.”
I don’t think I need to really explain how my black and white thinking would pollute the narrowness of these teachings!
I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t be the Christian they wanted; that God wanted. In fact, I still can’t.
I’m in the process of relearning myself. I’m also in the process of letting go of the failure. Yes, I’m a sinner, and if Jesus didn’t pay the complete price for my past, present and future sins, then I’ll rot in hell, I suppose.
I refuse be the one who beats myself down with Bible verses, church obedience, self-condemnation and religious practices that make feel as though I’m only worthy of eternal damnation. I’m aware of the sins I commit, and they are hard to beat. Plain and simple. And, plainly and simply, I accept the fact that they are hard to beat. What I know now about the all-or-nothing thinking is that patterns need to be gently accepted for what they are, and remedies must be applied without the habitual self-condemnation becoming a giant roadblock to their eventual success. Most of what the churches are pushing is not what Jesus has done for us, but what we must do in order to appease God. People like myself spend enough time beating themselves up, and we sure don’t need organizations doing it too!
My faith has suffered because of my true ways. My black and white thinking (like that of many, from what I have gathered) has limited my willingness to zealously preach and be the holy guy much of the Church expects…
That is a beautiful thing!!
I really don’t see myself ever being that guy, because the pious people are a really poor example of God—the God who sent His Son to die for our sins because He loves us that much. I don’t see much of that love in the world of Christian religion.
Bottom line: I’m human. I sin. I sometimes ignore it, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes, I don’t even realize it. It is what it is. I just try to love myself and others for who they are: flawed, and far from Christ-like.
I sometimes think most of the Christian community suffers from the same black and white thinking as I do. Guess it takes one to recognize one?