I know my inner self. I often miss the mark. I come up short of what I would like to be. I come up short of what God wants of me. Sometimes I want to do good, but bail out in a whimpering weakness of failed flesh. This is true of me in the physical realm. it is true of me in the spiritual realm. Although I want to be pure, I find strong desires at times that rage against purity. Although I want to be strong in faith, I find that I can buckle under little stresses. I’m not making any excuses. I know that Jesus is with me. But I am still a sinner who misses the mark. That’s right; and I am a minister of The Lord.
As a pastor – preacher – it is tempting to see preaching as telling people they are sinners. Some preachers like to spend a great deal of their time doing this. Yet, when I know in truth I too miss the mark, even at my best, I find little good in blasting others. If you are not on the bullseye it doesn’t matter how close you get. Thinking you’re something when you are not is just a lie. I find it better to be honest with God as to where I am at any moment and let His grace be my hope. After all, it is because we miss the mark God sent Jesus. He was the only one who hit the mark, and He was rejected by the world.
Don’t get me wrong, how we live is important. Jesus’ teaching demands a deeper change of the heart than religious legalism. Yet even that will not change the inner nature of fallen souls. Only the life he breaths into our spirit gives us power to turn away those competing wants. I have found that God is willing to give us this life. Real faith is about trusting God. Trusting He loves you. Life isn’t about how close you are to the mark, it is about how close you are to God.