I started fighting the war as a little girl. I fought ‘til the wee hours of the morning. It always seemed to be worse at night, facing the accusations. Even then, I wanted to be the good kid, actually not the good kid, the best kid, who never messed up. I always wanted to do the best thing, do the right thing, and always have a good attitude.
But I lay awake at night because I knew I couldn’t keep it up. I was always afraid that someone, somewhere would find out that I lied, someone somewhere would find out that I hated people in my heart sometimes and someone somewhere would find out that I wasn’t the best and that even worse, I was pretty bad at times.
I’ve met a lot of people who still fight the war. They try their best to save face. They try to make sure that they atone in their own way for the things they’ve done wrong. They make excuses for things that were wrong and pretend that they weren’t. They blame-shift. I recognize this behavior because I am the master of it. We’re all trying to pretend that we’re better, that we’re good on our own, because if we can convince ourselves of that, then we really don’t need much saving.
The truth is, though, I’m not the best. I’m not even good. I’m wicked and selfish, and I can’t keep up the façade pretending that I’m not. I couldn’t win the battle that was raging in my heart.
Thankfully Jesus called an armistice. Jesus fought the fight for me and for you and He won.
Ephesians 2:1-7 says:
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus”
Colossians 2: 13-15
13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”
Therefore, although we were enemies of God, we have been brought near through Christ. Jesus has ended the war that we fight in our hearts, because He has the victory over sin and death, and if we are in Him we are no longer slaves to sin, but instead are children of righteousness. Our weapons are not excuses, bargaining chips, good deeds (although they’re important), or half-hearted apologies. Instead, God says stand in Jesus’ victory and sacrifice on your behalf. Admit that you are my enemy and accept this great great gift. Then, your soul will find rest from the bewildering, exhausting inner war that you are fighting.
Here’s a favorite song that is not traditionally Christmasy but is echoes this theme of peace. Please listen to it today. I promise it will be encouraging.