Take chances. Abandon all the rules. Ditch the recipe. Color outside the lines.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Sinner Saint

I am always on the lookout for new authors, pastors, and teachers of the radical message of grace that I love so much.  My most recent discovery (thanks to a fantastic friend) is of a wonderful woman named Nadia Bolz-Webber.  She is a self-proclaimed “snarky” female pastor covered in tattoos and completely uncensored.  Upon a friend of mine sharing an article about her with me, I immediately hunted down her blog (Click Here for the link) and read everything she has written over the past four months as well as bought her most recent memoir “Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of aSinner & Saint.” (Which I am halfway through after only two days). 

Her beautifully messy way of relating to God and speaking of Him in a way that is so intensely personal hits a chord with me.  I watch videos of her speaking and am drawn to the obvious authenticity with which she claims his relentless grace.  One thing jumped out at me that she wrote in her book, “We are simultaneously sinner and saint, 100 percent of both, all the time.”

That statement greased the wheels in my mind as I began to dissect how true it rang for me. 

I have spoken before of the three parts that make up as humans; the body, soul, and spirit.  Still I struggle with a constant desire to be a saint but the reality that I am still a sinner.  This is the divine war; a Holy Spirit living inside a broken body with a selfish soul.  Thus giving us an amazing capacity to destroy but also an equally great, and often greater, capacity to love. 

The choice then becomes ours; who wins?

Our sinner’s soul will attempted to convince us we must work harder to get better while our saintly spirit defines us as enough. We will screw up, give in to temptation, break promises, and think to ourselves that we can’t possibly be loved by a holy God.  Our spirit whispers to us, “You have already been forgiven for that.” 

We assume that we must be either a sinner or a saint when in reality we are both because we have not yet escaped this wretched world. 

The scandalous thing about God is that He only relates to us as saints, spirit to spirit.

How delightfully rule-breaking it is for the Holiest of Holies to choose the broken heart of a sinner to call His temple.  Yet, He picked me and you and all those like us, the under-qualified, undeserving, and unexpected. 

Now we walk this earth as sinner saints, the imperfection of our souls revealing the truly divine perfection of our spirits that cry out to those in need, “Let me give you rest.”  How glorious it is that our actions of a sinner never make us any less of a saint before Him! 

I am excited by my new found hero of the faith and comforted by the things I have already learned through her sermons.  I am so glad God has no limits on who He can use to wave His flag of revolution.  Embrace who you truly are, my friends, and join the revolution!

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