“As we glimpse the true nature of our spiritual and moral bankruptcy, we can only wonder what kind of God this is who can not only stand to see and know it all, but who patiently and mercifully works in us and with us toward turning these dreadful liabilities into song.” SA White Book, Step 7
When I read this quote I paused for a moment and reflected on how spiritually and morally bankrupt I am. It does not feel good to think about these things: I have many flaws and character defects. Though I’ve been in recovery for over a year I feel like I’m only getting glimpses of my character defects, and that I don’t fully appreciate the depth of my own sin. As I thought about all this, and thought about a God who does know the full length, breadth, and depth of my sin, who died for me anyway and who loves me anyway…it doesn’t make any sense. I am completely unworthy. And yet He is somehow working on me and in me to change me, to turn these terrible defects into assets for His kingdom. Despite the fact that I try to sabotage His plans with my denial, anger, and resentment, He is not frustrated or impatient. Somehow, for some reason, God is willing to take as long as is necessary to turn my addiction and my character defects into tools for kingdom work.
When I feel disappointed in myself because I have sinned again, I must remember that He is not disappointed in me. When I am disappointed with others, God is not…and if He is not disappointed, impatient, or angry with them, how can I claim any right to those feelings? We are all sinners, from the ‘holiest’ of us down to the gravest sinners. None of us can earn or achieve the glory of God through our own efforts. I need to get over myself and everyone else; no-one is perfect. When people sin against me I shouldn’t be angry or resentful, I should expect it because they are sinners and are as imperfect as I am.
God offers to forgive us all, to use us all, and to use all of us (including the worst parts of us) for His glory.