How Am I Different?

I spent all this week and last at the Keynote office in training for when I can start working. This means classes and workshops on everything from Keynote’s values and the techniques of storytelling to how to put toner in the copier and where to park.

Yesterday, we had a class on forgiveness. Somewhere in the middle of the class, the woman who was teaching was talking about the enormity of Jesus’ sufferings and the great cost at which he redeemed us. She commented, “My life is completely different because of what Jesus did.”

The wheels started spinning in my head (if my brain is a series of stories shown on a movie screen, the audience is a hundred hamsters in their cages going round and round) and I thought: “How is my life different because of what Jesus did?”

Obviously, this is difficult to calculate. But, leaving out the messy sociological and anthropological discussion and assuming I am still me in what is still America, I decided that I would most likely be consumed by my natural sins, the evils toward which I already tend.

This means that I would be proud, judgmental, unforgiving, overbearing, self-absorbed, and lazy. A mass of human awfulness caught up in the greatness of herself.

If your first thought was, “How is that different from how you are now?” Yes, I was wondering that too.

In fact, it bothered me immensely.

I know what other people would say (and believe me, I don’t need you to assure me of how great I am; that’s exactly the issue at hand) but I started to realize that I don’t seem to need (or sometimes even want) a savior.

Certainly there are times when I know that I do. When I have a strong desire to strangle a puppy or cheat on my taxes, for instance. But, generally speaking, my life is not visibly changed by the understanding of what Jesus did for me.

There is no grand conclusion here, and this entire post may feel self-absorbed and unproductive – but that in itself is a reflection of me. Me in my natural state, without the forgiveness of a savior.

But how much greater my need and how much higher the cost he paid to forgive all the times I don’t think I need a savior.


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