You want me to tell you, how to make it better. How to fix up your life. How to walk towards holiness. The attractive path. The strong way. To be the best, the most righteous, the happiest, the most beautiful, the most successful, the winner. And if you cannot win for yourself, it is a problem to fix.
But this is not the gospel. It is the tempting wisdom of the daytime. The prudence we can grab, that we can hold, that we can wield for our benefit. Yet, this is not the gospel. We want to claim what is righteousness. We want it to work for us. But the gospel works against our pride and our works and our accomplishments.
You want me to tell you that you have done well. That you’ve done more good than bad. But you haven’t, no one has, not even one. So where does this leave us, in our conversations, when you don’t want to hear the truth about yourself.
Because this is not the gospel. That you are enough. Because you aren’t enough. You sense it inside, which is why you want me to tell you something other than the depression you deserve. But no, I agree. There is a war, you are lost, you are dead, you are desperate. Why can you not agree?
You want me to tell you there are quick-tip secrets to give meaning, grant forgiveness, feel peace. But what is the truth? Peace is not for this life. Forgiveness is harder. And what does it all mean. I’m trying to tell you.
It is not the gospel. To spew the same lies. That influencers and megachurch play on repeat. You can be better. It’s an arm’s length away. You can do it. Just have the right mindset. But, I understand. That’s what you want to hear.
It’s harder to say what’s harder. You are suffering. You must forsake. You will be forsaken. The way of the cross, is not the way of your heart. Everything inside, your soul and your feelings, your stomach is sick. That is the sacred pressing in. On whom you thought you were. Unworthy. Unrighteous. It’s humiliating.
And wonderful. To not have to lie. To not have to justify. You’re free from the fear of mistakes. Because you will fail. You have failed. You don’t want to dwell on this, I know. But you don’t need yourself. You only need a Savior.
Please understand: I do not want to tell you what you wanted to hear. Why would you want that? We trust in the One who gives more than we can ever be. Why would you want me to try to improve you? When by your weakness the true strength is made clear. Why would you want me to focus you on a path which cannot save? When we know the way to eternal life is by Christ alone.