“Knowing God without knowing our own wretchedness makes for pride. Knowing our own wretchedness without knowing God makes for despair. Knowing Jesus Christ strikes the balance because he shows us both God and our own wretchedness. Jesus is a God whom we can approach without pride and before whom we can humble ourselves without despair.”
~ Blaise Pascal
In this swirling world of standards we may or may not measure up to, the temptation either to think of ourselves “more highly than we ought” (Rom. 12:3, NIV) or to give in to “worldly sorrow [over our sin] that brings death” (2 Cor. 7:10, NIV) stalks us relentlessly.
Knowing the heart of Jesus is our only escape. If you deny the brokenness or evil at work in your own heart, you will become a slave to it. Pride always enslaves us to those impulses we need to overlook in order to maintain our high opinion of ourselves. If your reaction to the sight of the evil in yourself is to tear at your own heart and punish yourself, you will only participate in the destruction of your soul.
People do these things; ignore sin and worship themselves, or see it and hate themselves, because they think they need to be whole to be loved. They think that Love must be either all-excusing, or blind. Love is so much more powerful than this.
“Love’s as hard as nails,/Love is nails:/Blunt, thick, hammered through/The medial nerves of One/Who, having made us, knew/The thing he had done:/Seeing (with all that is)/Our cross, and his.” (C.S. Lewis)
Jesus is the only one on earth who sees exactly how bad and how beautiful your soul is. Jesus will never mock you. Jesus will love you relentlessly, until this gorgeous and gut-wrenching age passes away like a watch in the night, and all your brokenness and sin is nothing more than a bad dream, and you stand clean and filled with Joy in His sight for all of eternity. Jesus will give you courage to face yourself, power to forgive others and yourself, and strength to continue that journey until the Day comes.