What holds you back from giving your all, or giving anything, to God? For some people, the answer might be pride. For others, stubbornness. For others, fear. For me, one thing that often holds me back is my own feelings of unworthiness and I think deep down, that is the case for most people. I feel unworthy, because of sin, because of failures, because of lack of faith and so I shrink back from seeking God and feel more and more distant from Him. Although in principle, I know that I am saved by grace and not my own works, I feel that I’ve only really started to grasp what that means in my life over the summer and it is incredibly liberating, though I’ve still got some way to go before I feel like I’ve fully absorbed what it means. The fact is we are all unworthy, we all fall short of God’s standard and nothing we can do can change that. That is why grace is so amazing – grace steps in not because we are worthy, but because we are unworthy; not because we can, but because we can’t; not because we are good enough, but because we will never be good enough. The exact ways in which we each feel unworthy differ depending on who we are and what we’ve done. But the amazing story of God’s grace is that none is counted worse than any other – we all fall short – and we can all be redeemed and saved. Grace is about God seeing that I can never be worthy, never be good enough, and coming to earth to deal with my unworthiness personally.
It is one thing to know with my head that God’s grace pays for my sin and gives me a new start. It is another to fully grasp it with my heart. Grasping it with your heart means fully acknowledging the enormity of our wrongdoing and then realising that no matter how enormous it is, it is atoned for – as Jesus said on the cross, “It is finished” (see John 19:30). I believe that it is only when we fully grasp the truth of grace in our hearts – our sin, our helplessness and yet, our redemption, that we are able to fully forgive ourselves.
“He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)