It’s easy to hate yourself.

I hate my flesh. I hate my sin and the ugliness that is constantly creeping up into my thoughts, playing out in my actions, and rearing its ugly head in my conversations. My own depravity is frightening. The lusts, the lies, the lukewarm apathy that seems to always show up the moment I recommit to Christ. 

Paul puts this into better language in chapter 7 of his letter to the Roman church: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” He uses the personal pronoun “I” THIRTY THREE TIMES in this passage. Thirty three. Paul, the “super-apostle,” is so frustrated with his indwelling sin that he nails himself over and over. What are we to do? For I know I have the Holy Spirit, but the dirtiness of my inner self seems to be stronger and more prevalent, always in my life and trying to steer me off this dangerously narrow path.

This is the paradox of being a child of God. We are still wretches, but we have been redeemed? We are saved, but still suffer with ourselves? We are filthy, but cleansed and purified by the blood? Yes. We are. For we have been made positionally righteous in Christ–justified from the penalty of sin, but not yet delivered from the presence of it. A professor of mine puts it in this way:

Imagine two fields with a wall in between them. Satan stands in one and Christ is standing in the other one. When we are born, we are all sitting in Satan’s field. We do what he wants and what he tells us, listening only to his voice. However, when Jesus calls us (and only he can) into his field, we now belong in his field. Yet, we can still hear Satan’s voice calling to us from over the wall. And sometimes we still listen to him, even though we don’t have to.

I was blatantly confronted with my own sinfulness tonight at a worship event. I told God I was sick of this and was such a wreck; I’m tired of comparing myself to others and having zero confidence in who he has made me to be. Pride is the driver. Thankfully, there is freedom and strength in Christ to combat lies that I’m not good enough. I am a recovering attention-seeker who is a daughter of God. I don’t have to try to seek acceptance, for I have already been accepted into the greatest family there is. All to Him. He is the only Redeemer and Father who will ever love me perfectly and call me his child unconditionally. John 1:12. 

Praise God from whom all blessings flow. This is the One we must fix our sights on, throwing off the snivelings of the flesh and the straying of our eyes.