Saints and Sinners

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves.

I John 1:8

We call them Zebras at our clinic. They’re black and white thinkers-people who believe that everyone in their lives-themselves included-is either a complete saint or a complete sinner. The trouble with this mentality is that it keeps people from looking at their lives realistically. If they see themselves as saints, they just can’t accept the fact that they really did something wrong. Or they may flip to the stance of “Well if  I did that, then I must be a sinner, so I might as well give in to it.” These people often hide their pain with addiction, which drives them further down the “all good” or “all bad” road. When they’re yielding to sin, they’re bad but when they’re not they’re good.

Our job with the “saint-sinner” client is to gently help them see themselves as whole people, capable of doing almost anything. We point out that it takes arrogance for a person to believe she is either the worst sinner or the best saint in the world. Humility is the key for the black-white thinker. We must help them realize that we are all sinners saved by grace.

Thought:  I am neither all good nor all bad, but a sinner saved by grace and a saint through the righteousness of Jesus Christ.


He Loves Me!

Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.

Jeremiah 31:3

A young girl was wandering through a beautiful garden when she came upon a clump of daisies. She picked one and started pulling off the petals, saying, “He loves me, he loves me not…” As I watched her from my quiet corner in the garden, I became overwhelmed with thoughts of gratitude to God for His gift of unconditional love.

The people in our lives say “I love you” so easily, but so often there are major strings attached. These messages come through: “I’ll love you if…,” “I’ll love you when…,” “I’ll love you but…”  There are so many conditions, and as a result we go around insecure, trying to please other people, looking for approval. Our emotions stay on a constant roller coaster; we fluctuate from happiness to despair  and back again.

God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, as a living demonstration that His love is radically different from conditional human love. If God had that daisy in His hand, as He pulled off the petals His message would be,”I love you, I love you!” That’s inner security!

Prayer:  Thank you God, for your love. Truly it is good news.