By Pastor Carrie Johnston (January 18, 2022)
1 Timothy 1:15 NIV
“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners — of whom I am the worst.”
I’m not exactly sure what Paul was thinking when he wrote those words in 1 Timothy, but it does make me want to ask some follow up questions or at least interject with some encouragement.
– “Paul, let’s be realistic here….you do know there are people worse than you, right? You are definitely NOT the worst!”
– “Paul, I think you misspoke there… shouldn’t it say that you WERE the worst of sinners? You’ve been saved, you’re okay now!”
– “Paul, you’re actually pretty great! Look at all your ministry is accomplishing!”
We live in a world that teaches us to always be putting our best foot forward, to highlight your strengths, and hide your weaknesses. In light of this, Paul’s words can feel jarring. Yet how much would change in our lives if we lived out of the knowledge that we are actually the WORST sinner that we know? We would certainly be more humble!
It’s much more difficult to point fingers at others’ imperfections, to get angry at others’ shortcomings, and to get prideful at my own accomplishments, when I live focused on the sacrifice of Jesus for my own terrible sins. Thank you, Jesus, for bringing me back to life!
Fasting is humbling.
Fasting is revealing.
This year it’s reminding me that I am still the worst.
And so are you.
Today I pray you would feel the love of God pointed entirely in your direction. May you feel seen as you are, exposed in the best ways possible and encouraged to keep going with your fast even if you don’t feel like you are doing it “right”.