I’m a pretty dramatic person (in case it hasn’t been blaringly obvious from previous posts). My default setting is definitely not a healthy sense of perspective. Noooooo, my thoughts always default to THE most dramatic outcome EVER to face ANYone in ALL of history.
Someone cancels plans on me: This ALWAYS happens to me. The ONLY person I can rely on is [insert person who hasn’t stood me up lately].
Someone at work does their job wrong: That’s what I get for delegating. I’m the ONLY one I can trust to get things done.
One of my roommates annoys me: I NEVER get my way around here. I have ONLY my harsh words and impatient tone to rely on.
An event I’m planning runs into a hiccup: Things will ONLY go right if I am bossy and push people around.
I start thinking about the future: I’ve been single FOREVER, and I’m NEVER going to get married. The ONLY person I have is my roommate (the one who’s not engaged right now).
Sometimes, it goes the opposite way.
I’m trying to persuade someone over to my way of thinking: my words are ALL I have, and if they don’t work, I have NOTHING.
My job is threatened: my job is ALL I have in the WORLD. If I get laid off, I’ll have NOTHING.
The other day, I was thinking something along the lines of “I’m NEVER going to have a husband; the ONLY thing I have to comfort me in my singleness is sin (reading slutty novels, looking up the wikihow article on kissing, getting lost in my imaginings about married life),” and it hit me – No. I have Jesus.
How can I say that the ONLY thing I have in life is sin? How can I even THINK it? Yet, I did. For half a second, I thought that sin would be more satisfying than Jesus. And isn’t that the case every time I sin, in any area of life?
Here’s why Jesus is so great.
Jesus is the star of the Gospel story, which involves a lot of sin and a lot of grace. In this story, Jesus knew that I would never be good enough to please God on my own (because of my sin, the bad things I do that displease God); so He, in the ultimate act of grace, made – no, became – the way for me to please God. He died the death that I deserved, then rose from the dead to prove that He keeps his promises, then went to heaven so I can eventually follow Him there.
When you compare sin and Jesus logically, Jesus wins. Jesus and sin promise the same things: satisfaction, wholeness, life, permanence, joy, etc. But Jesus actually delivers what He promises; sin delivers emptiness, brokenness, death, abandonment, fluff feelings, etc.
Since that “I have Jesus” thought hit me out of the blue the other day, here are the ways I’ve realized that having “only Jesus” is having enough.
- People change plans last-minute, and I cancel plans. But Jesus made plans that took CENTURIES to fulfill and still kept them right on time.
- People do their jobs wrong, and I make mistakes. But Jesus never made a SINGLE mistake in his HUGE job of saving His people from their sins.
- My roommates and I annoy each other sometimes. But Jesus DIED to make up for all the times I respond to their annoyances with harshness or impatience.
- Events I plan run into hiccups. But Jesus rose from the freaking dead. I THINK He can handle a couple of hiccups and teach me a thing or two in the process.
- I’m still waiting for my singleness to end. But Jesus showed that singleness is not the most AWFUL thing in the WORLD. He show that the most awful thing is a life lived in disobedience to God, and He lives in heaven to pray that God won’t find me guilty.
The truth is, every time I think about having ONLY this or that in my life as something to rely on, I’m sinning. Unless that ONLY thing is Jesus, it’s distracting me from Jesus, and that makes it an idol – even if it’s a good thing like a family and friends and roommates and a job.
I know I say something like this every week, but it hit me anew this week, and it’s the thought in which I take the most comfort: I have ONLY Jesus – and He is the only ONLY I need. The rest is either sin or grace, and those two things point me to Jesus and to the Gospel story anyway.
I guess I could also make the point that even my dramatic default setting points me to Jesus; He is, after all, the ONLY one in ALL of history to NEVER let me down.
He is INFINITELY better than sin. And He is enough. ALWAYS.