Dear fellow brethren,
Apologies are in order. I am ever self-centered. Occasionally, I swear. Your needs are not at the forefront of my worries. I have looked upon the face of the Most High and spat upon it by neglecting your physical, spiritual, and emotional requirements. At times, I look upon you in judgment. I would use a double standard against you to which I cannot even uphold. I neglect the beam of wood in my own eye while I attempt to call to attention the speck in yours. I have not loved you as Christ would have loved you. I have retaliated against you out of hatred and uncontrollable anger. I have exploited you for my own benefit. I have concealed a deep envy and covetous attitude towards your achievements. My thoughts are not always wholesome and would be better off not expressed most times. My heart is not of a pure moral fiber, but of sickeningly rotten character. It harbors conceited, bloated pride like a sponge filled with water. Dark desires plague my soul as they do any other man. Temptation does not run from me because I have called myself a ‘Christian,’ and it seems as if I readily embrace this temptation in times of weakness. I attempt to live up to perfection, to the image of Christ on the cross, but I fail over and over again; daily failure. I cannot ever attain a perfection as high as that of Christ, though my foolish attempts are repeated daily. I succumb to feelings of greed, hatefulness, intolerance, folly, and the whole lowly works to which mankind and his nature is prone. I am quick to condemn and slow to forgive. I give not to the needy, and I hoard that which I do not need. I have lied. I have spoken a cross word to you out of anger and from the depths of a depraved heart.
I wish I could say that these things were not true, but they are. My conscience is murkier than the bottom of the ocean and I am completely broken, no matter how hard I wish it wasn’t so. Under what authority do I have the right to judge the man to my right or left? In front of our Creator, we are all the same desperate, depraved creatures. I have not obeyed my Father’s commands to love my neighbor as myself, nor have I loved Him to the fullest capacity found within my mind, body, and soul. I am worthy of condemnation and eternal darkness, for I am a sinner. The image I have falsely constructed of myself is false, and it masks the smudged character beneath the façade. I beg of you, do not be turned away from the face of Christ because of my misdeeds. Instead, look deeper into His eyes, and do not turn away until you have seen into their wholesome, perfect depths and have felt His compassion. When you see me fall, do not pass judgment on my shortcomings. Just as I am trying to express now, remember that Christ died for the broken; for the adulterer, for the depraved, for the sinner. He who is forgiven much loves much, and he who is forgiven little loves little – Luke 7:47. My sins are frail and hollow against the cross because He has taken them upon Himself and God remembers them no more. I am apologizing to you and asking for you to do the same. Remember my terrible disposition and wicked heart no more, look upon me and see that Christ has wiped my slate clean; He has scrubbed yours snow white as well. I am sorry for everything, brother, because I have misrepresented Christ’s teachings and His Love. As long as I live, I will be a sinner, this will not change. Christ was perfect, he lived, died, and was resurrected, vindicating his Authority to forgive; this too will not change. As I apologize for everything I have ever done against you, I beg you to keep the true love of Christ in mind, and not my self-seeking ways. When you think on Christ, keep not my misdeeds in mind, but rather His smothering love and forgiveness of our sins which were taken upon Him on the cross; this truly is salvation in its most glorious attire.
A Mere Sinner.
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:8