Sin is sinister. Our trials come in many different shapes, sizes, colors and shades. But when the trial overwhelms us, when the temptation overcomes us, it seems that we are led in one of two directions–pride or despair. Both pride and despair comes from a rejection of the savior. Both pride and despair is rooted in the conviction (however momentary) that Jesus is not quite enough.
Sometimes we despair. That means we start to believe that Jesus is not powerful (or loving) enough to remove my guilt, heal my brokenness, or to free me from some plaguing sin. Sometimes we become prideful. That means we that, though we may say we believe all those things about Jesus, secretly we slip on the messiah-cape do our own work to fix the problem, restore “it” to health, or otherwise save the world from sin (including ourselves). It is difficult to remain Christ-centered when you believe you have the power to redeem anything.
When one finds themselves in the meat grinder of life, dealing with hard “things” it is sometimes difficult to believe what Paul teaches about Jesus in Colossians, that he is the creator, ruler, reconciler, and sustainer of ALL THINGS. Whenever sin touches real life, rather than hold tightly to an immovable cross, we’re apt to jump on the swinging pendulum between pride and despair. Whenever a relationship, a family, even an entire church is devastated by sin, you either throw up our hands in despair because you can’t see how things can get better. Or, just as bad, you start to using your hands to fix everything because you believe you are starting to see nail holes in them.
So, if you find yourself in despair right now, know that nothing can separate you from the love of your Savior–not your sin, not their sin, not any sin. And, if you’re prideful right now, believing that you have the power or obligation to save, redeem, or restore, know that the Savior job is already taken.