I’m Fine the Way I Am
I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 1 Corinthians 15:9
I tolerated my addiction for years, refusing to do what it took to truly find recovery. It just wasn’t that big of a deal. My pills were simply this little thing that I did in secret, and as long as no one knew, it didn’t matter. I’m not hurting anyone. I need my pills to relax and sleep. I work hard and I deserve it.
Deep down, I knew it I was indulging in self-destructive behavior, and I asked forgiveness often, but then I’d soon be back to my use. I wanted a clean conscience before God, but I didn’t truly want repentance because that would be too disruptive. As long as I could live my life and have my pills, I didn’t believe things were all that bad. I was never going to get clean until disastrous consequences helped me see the gravity of my disease, which was the only way I could accept the treatment. It was only when I truly saw what I’d become that I could truly accept God’s solution – forgiveness, radical repentance and transformation.
In today’s passage, Paul gave us a view into the self-loathing that led to his own transformation. When he met Christ, Paul said he was the least worthy person he knew. In another passage, Paul called himself the chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15 KJV). Likely unaware of his depravity before he met Christ, once he did, Paul understood exactly how badly he needed mercy, forgiveness, and change. It was because he could see how horrible he was before Christ, that his transformation was so dramatic.
Many of us have yet to get to this point. Like me, before I found recovery, we just don’t think things are all that bad. We don’t really see the need to get too crazy about faith and repentance because our sins are pretty small. Maybe we look at a little porn. Maybe we’re a little spoiled and greedy. Who isn’t though? So, we limp along through life, never actually experiencing forgiveness because we remain unwilling to truly repent.
The Christian life though, is meant to be one of continual crucifixion of the old life so I may enjoy the new one. I may be sober, but I still struggle, and I still require ongoing transformation. I need Jesus as much today as I did seven years ago. It’s only when I’m aware of my desperate need, that I can daily turn to Christ, accepting his solution – forgiveness, radical repentance, and transformation.