I was born a sinner. What does that mean? I figured it meant I was born bad, like we speak of unruly kids. But that'd mean a few spankings and punishments and then I'd be a good kid and eventually a good adult.
Right? Wrong according to Christianity.
I am totally depraved (it says), not just bad. Well, what does that mean? It means that every part of me—my mind, will, emotions and flesh—has been corrupted. Everything I do and say stems from a rotten core. There is absolutely no good in me. Even my "righteous" deeds are tainted by an evil heart incapable of conceiving of any pure act.
That's a lot to digest. So, I don't really. I can't be THAT bad. I'm no murderer, no thief, no terrorist.
I know I'm not perfect, so I thank God for His grace, which allows me to still experience good from Him although I do bad things. But I don't need to bash myself into believing I'm some terrible person. For one, I don't see it. Two, what good would it do to believe that? Three, I think Christians do that to each other and the outside world enough. Whether it's homosexuals or fornicators, everyone receives hate from those people who say their God is Love.
But I went ahead and humored myself last night and listened to a pastor give a message in a way I'd never expect. Christians say that all people sin and fall short of God's glory, but they don't seem to really believe that all includes them. But this guy did. He put homosexuals, liars, drunkards, adulterers, I mean everybody on an even playing field. How? He explained that Christians are "justified sinners battling together to walk in purity, with all of their differing genetic, hormonal, environmental disorders that incline everyone of them, in varying ways, to do sinful things." He said that all of us were born totally blind to God's beauty. We all wander towards different things or lifestyles as a result. We just don't realize it. What blew me away and made me take his words in was that this preacher, who I know calls himself a man of God, said his heart was no different than the next man's—apart from Jesus. Just by being born, he has the capacity to be gay, to be a killer, to be filled with anger, you name it and he could have been it. And he has been a man controlled by a number of sins and even now, in Christ, he must fight to submit his life to God daily. But in Christ, he also no longer has to operate from a rotten core. He is free to glorify God with His life. But that's primarily because God gave him that ability and not because of any good within him.
Man, that gives me hope. Tells me that I didn't inherit something alone. The whole world got this sort of defective gene. No need to be in denial. No need to feel ashamed. But also no need to let how I was born dictate how I live now.
Born sinner. Born amongst sinners. In a world subjected to the effects of sin. It's rough. Seems like we're all in need of grace. Guess since he sent Jesus, I'm left without excuse. Apparently, he's made a way to be born again.