“For it is by grace we have been saved, through faith, it is not from ourselves- it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)
“Create in me a clean heart, Oh God. Renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)
“If anyone is in Christ, He is a new creation. The old has passed away, behold the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
These verses may seem completely unrelated, but they actually tie together like an unexpected mosaic.
Christ saves us from sin, from darkness, from eternal death, from ourselves, from emotions through GRACE alone. We cannot do or say anything to earn this free gift. No matter how much we strive for perfection (which for perfectionists is every second, every day) we will always fail. Apart from God, we can’t stand. Our endless pursuit of perfection gets us further and further from God, because we wind up looking inward and becoming self-focused and self-reliant. We start to serve our emotions and allow them to guide us. We begin to serve our circumstances and our abilities. We soak in shame, guilt, and regret when we mess up, completely missing the freedom Christ has for us. This freedom and grace flowing out of the salvation Christ offers us, has nothing to do with our amount of accomplished tasks, checked off to-do lists, always saying the right things, never thinking impure thoughts, having a perfectly-polished home, having a perfect marriage, being a perfect mom, a perfect employee, perfect daughter, or perfect friend.
Our hearts are inherently selfish. We want to glorify ourselves and appear polished and perfect all the time. Underneath the mask, though, is the aching, all consuming need for Christ. Despite our failures, His grace is available. We have done absolutely nothing to deserve it. We have a choice of whether or not we will accept this free gift right in front of us, or to keep living for ourselves, striving for perfection, and serving our emotions.
God never intended for our emotions to be a a roadmap of any kind. Emotions are chaotic and always changing; they are the stark opposite of the unchanging, firm foundation that God provides. Emotions are like a house built on a false reality that can be blown down in an instant. Emotions are rooted in SELF, SELF, SELF. Emotions constantly lie and pull us away from God.
In our mess, in our stumbling, in our trying and failing, God pulls us out and SAVES US through GRACE alone.
As Psalm 51:10 says, we have to continue approaching Him in prayer, earnestly seeking Him and asking Him: “create in me a clean heart.”
We are unable to have a clean heart on our own. It’s impossible. Only He alone cleanses us.
When we slip back into sin, turn to selfish desires, allow our emotions to take rule, focus on perfection, or turn far from God, we have the BEAUTIFUL reminder that the old has passed away (2 Corinthians 5:17) and the new has come. We are forgiven and through Christ alone we can flourish as a new creation.
A word of encouragement:
It is never too late.
You are never too far gone.
God is after your heart.
He died for you.
No matter how broken and shattered you feel.
No matter how many mistakes you’ve made.
He is waiting with outstretched arms.
If you have questions about Christ’s love for you or what salvation means, PLEASE don’t hesitate to reach out to us via the contact form on our website or on social media.
Wife to Simon and mama to Theodore Samuel. Hannah began her walk with Christ at age 17 and He is radically reshaping her world daily. She find so much joy in coffee cup conversations with other women at her home, serving alongside her husband at our church’s middle/high school youth group, exploring new cities, cozy days with a book, decorating/reorganizing, filling journals with brightly-colored pens, hand-writing notes on pretty stationary and time at the beach.