I've been struggling with my faith lately. I keep looking around at the Christian church and then wonder how we're different than anybody else. In fact, there are a lot of really terrible things done in the name of Christ. Which I guess can be taken in two different ways: one is to look at the mistakes as proof that Christianity is a dead faith. The other is to look into the scriptures, see how very far those actions are from what the Bible says, and then be extra uber careful not to make the same mistakes in my own life.
The other part of my struggle is simply knowing that it's not only others that mess up in their faith, but myself. I'm certainly not perfect, and make mistakes all the time. It often makes me feel like perhaps God just doesn't want me anymore, that maybe I'm just too far gone. I think it's easy for me to look at myself, say that I'm so far from perfect, that I just don't belong.
Anyways, all these thoughts have passed through my mind before. But I was reminded the other day about something. God came to the world not to judge it, but to save it. "He so loved the world that he sent his only son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." The entire gospel is right there: that God knew who we were before he ever called us to Him. He knows that we're sinners, he knows that we're screw ups, he knows that we're going to make a heck of a lot of mistakes. He knew that before he died for us. He loved us that much. The gospel isn't about morality, about what I can do to get to heaven, but about what God did to allow me to get there. And that grace is what makes me love Jesus so much - that he actually DOES know everything about me, but wants me anyways. And so out of that love and debt that I owe him, I want to make him happy in any way possible. Unfortunately, I'm still a sinner and end up falling on my face in failure more often than not, but Jesus knows me well enough to also know that I'm going to mess up. But he died for me despite this knowledge - so may I never boast in anything but the cross of Jesus.
So there you go: It's about grace. I'm not saved by anything that I do or say, but rather by the grace that has filled me with the freedom to love and embrace everyone around me. Because no one is perfect. And that's the point.