Time and time again, in Christian circles, it is common to hear phrases like, “You are special,” “God loves you just the way you are,” or the favorite, “you gotta’ love yourself before you can love others.” Sometimes it almost sounds like the Gospel is simply telling people God thinks everyone is o.k.
Obviously, this does not add up logically. Whether one judges people by some divine morality or by common sense, people have faults, flaws, and weaknesses, let alone their destructive desires. Did God really make them this way? Is it really “ok” to just be yourself when your self wants to do or say something to hurt another?
If everyone was ok, why do we promote education, have a justice system, and encourage apologies? If everyone was ok, why are we attending funerals, going to psychologists, complaining about politicians, or sleeping alone because our wife left?
We are not ok. We are far from ok. And it is not that “other” person’s fault. But like Adam with God’s finger pointing at him, it is really hard to admit we screwed up. Adam did not want to be punished. We do not want to shoulder the blame. We do not want to show our weakness. We do not want to feel the weight of total responsibility for our lives and others on our backs.
So, we invent this theology. Everything is fine, except when it is not. People are good, except when they are not. God made you just the way you are, except for those people who have done heinous things.
Anything we can do to justify our existence, keep our heads up, not lose a skip in our step. Because, ultimately, we are afraid of the possibility that deep down, with all of humanity, no one is ok. This is why nothing really gets fixed. The fixer is the one who needs the fixing!
We are not ok, but that is ok. God only loves people who are not ok. So come out of your hiding, your complicated construction of self-preservation, your repeated mantra of the lie that you are ok.
As Paul says in Romans chapter 3, “So all the world may be silenced!” Quiet! Stop being a lawyer looking for loopholes and argumentation to prove your innocence. You are not. And here is a secret… everyone knows you are guilty!
It is ok to not be ok because the only one who is ok, Jesus, was ok for you! He passed your test of being a human being. You failed. But that is ok! Jesus gives you His A+, thumbs up, thadda’ boy! Not because you are ok, but because He loves not ok people! He took the punishment you deserve. God forgives you because He likes to do that. It is not because you are ok. Ok people do not need to be forgiven!
The power of God’s love is not demonstrated in loving good people, ok people. The ridiculous power of God’s love is demonstrated when He loves, forgives and gives eternal life to not ok people!
So, stop trying to justify yourself, telling yourself in the mirror you are ok. It is ok. You are forgiven! I would much rather be forgiven than be ok! And that is ok. And guess what? There is a day coming, sooner than when you started reading this post, when everything will be ok; no more sin, no more Satan, and no more death!
That sounds ok.