‘Saint Me’ and ‘Real Me’
This past week I was listening to the story of a pastor whose pursuit of sin had driven him from ministry and into scandal. He said:
“I don’t believe I ever met Jesus until I stepped out of my church persona and became just another broken, desperate man. That’s when He really became real to me.”
Each of us has two versions of our selves: Saint Me and Real Me. We put on Saint Me whenever we are around other church members and whenever we have an especially important request to make in prayer. We learn the phrases, the attitudes and the actions that are expected by others. What’s more, we come to think that God is especially pleased with Saint Me, and that if we ever were to be Real Me, His love and blessing would diminish.
But God did not love Saint Me with and everlasting love. He knows Saint Me isn’t even real. God despises Saint Me, for Saint Me does not glorify the grace of God. Saint Me is too busy thanking God he is not like Real Me. Saint Me never enters God’s rest because he is too busy working.
But God chose Real Me; Christ died for Real Me; the Holy Spirit called Real Me and is presently preserving Real Me. All these things were done for the real, broken, desperate Me. God does not love what Real Me is, but He loves Real Me as he is.
It seems to me that growing in grace has something to do with recognizing Saint Me for the wretch that he is, and embracing the truth that God loves Real Me in Christ.
Is this not what the Lord was saying to the Laodiceans:
You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. (Revelation 3.17)
The sooner we go from “Saint” to “Real” the sooner we enter the glorious liberty of the Sons of God.
Joe Terrell is pastor of Grace Community Church located at 1616 18th Street, Rock Valley, IA 51247. You may also contact him by telephone at (712) 476-5667