Growing up I heard more sermons on sin than I ever heard about my worth as a child of God. My shame tells me I am worthless; my stubborn resistance and tendency toward arrogance shouts back sounding remarkably like PeeWee Herman, “So what? ‘I know you are, but what am I?’ ” I can find ways to deflect blame and shame. I am a master at defending myself. But honestly, if we have been brought up to believe that we are unworthy, or if we have practiced living an unworthy life for a long time, why wouldn’t we be defensive? Of course we will be defensive!! After all - we were created to embrace virtue and God’s image.
“Some Christians base their identity on being a sinner. I think they have it wrong—or only half right. You are not simply a sinner; you are a deeply loved sinner. And there is all the difference in the world between the two.”
~ David G. Benner, The Gift of Being Yourself: The Sacred Call to Self-Discovery
My particular “coming to believe” stumbling block is less about my sin and more around accepting my intrinsic value. If I cannot wrap my head around this idea of self-acceptance then it is almost impossible to believe that restoration is in my future. This sounds like a crazy paradox. I am both ashamed and arrogant, leaving me in the precarious position of not being particularly self-aware.