Bankruptcy. Two types exist: temporary or permanent bankruptcy. The first assumes, often foolishly, that you are able to lift yourself out of your dire position. The second acknowledges that nothing more can be done and all is lost. As humans in our spiritual quests, Pastor Bert highlighted on Sunday, we tend to choose the first option and claim that we just need Jesus to give us a jump-start in life. We are not as spiritually bankrupt as everybody says we are and we can still revive ourselves by our own strengths.
If we were to have the mentality that we possess the strength to fix things without God, we end up being a people that only looks to God in times of desperation. Likewise, we look more harshly on one another at a person’s weaknesses and mistakes. This is what the Bible calls grace. It is related to the word “gift” in the sense that it is free and undeserved.
We all have an image in our heads of what a perfect Christian looks like. We strive towards this ideal and encourage others to reach this ideal — in and of itself, may not be a bad thing. The trouble comes when we get angry or demanding when ourselves or others cannot obtain that ideal. When we withhold love when we should have given it. When we say the wrong hurtful and inappropriate things. When we fail. It is a reminder that our bankruptcy is not temporary but permanent — that we need the help of Christ to get up each day.
In reality, we are not to live up to these human-made ideals but to live up to our God-made designs. Pastor Bert on Sunday said so poignantly, “Live as God desires and the world will change.” God crafted each of us, uniquely, with particular skills and gifts. Our focus in life is to live out those designs and not be caught up in trying to be Mother Teresa or William Wilberforce. It is true that we are often our greatest critics. Rather, we must embrace the grace that God has extended to us, live with the reality of His grace in us, and show His grace to others around us.