The prerequisite to becoming a Christian is to admit that you are a failure before God. Without this awareness, there’s no real appreciation for God’s amazing grace.
The longer you live as a Christian, the more of a failure you realize you are. At the beginning you see the failure in your actions. But over time, you see how you fail to obey God with your attitude, thoughts, motives, and intentions. You realize that not are there sins you commit (sins of commission), but good things you fail to do (sins of omission). Then you realize that even many of your good works are really just sinful efforts at self-justification. Even your best moments are laced with sin.
This is why Christians must continually re-discover the gospel. Otherwise we’d despair.
But this is also why Christians should know better than anyone that they aren’t better than anyone.
Anytime we swell with pride or think to ourselves, “I would never do that,” we have forgotten who we are apart from Jesus and his grace.
God, forgive us.
Image: Jim LePage